Psychiatrist calls for urgent actions against drug abuse
Story from Rabi’atu, Lokoja
A medical doctor, Dr Collins Egbeola, has called for urgent action against drug abuse in order to avert impending psychiatric disorders among youths.
Egbeola, who is the Chief Consultant Psychiatrist of Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, made the call in a paper presented at the Kogi NDLEA Command celebration of the UN Day Against Drug Abuse.
He described the rate of drug abuse in Nigeria as very disturbing and desires inclusive and desperate measures to save millions of youths from destruction.
The Chief Consultant noted that the abuse of illegal, prohibited and psychoactive substances such as Alcohol, Codeine Cannabis Sativa, Tramadol, Crack, and Cocaine amongst others are what negatively affect human health.
Dr Egbeola noted that illicit drugs in the body system target the brain which results in physical and psychological effects such as mental illness, job loss, family blames/conflicts, guilt, and resource wastage.
The medical doctor lamented the paucity of funds, death of treatment units/specialists, and stigmatisation as some of the barriers to the treatment of drug addicts in society.
He said family physicians, parents, schools, community/religious leaders, government, and the media must wake up to the challenge to prevent drug abuse in the country.
Also speaking, the NDLEA Chairman, retired Gen. Buba Marwa, said the fight against illicit drugs was a continuous battle aimed at sanitising the Nigerian society of drugs, crimes, and criminality.
Represented by the Kogi State Commander of NDLEA, Malam Abdulkadir Abdullahi-Fakai, said the federal government has approved the establishment of six rehabilitation centres across the country for drug addicts.
Marwa added that three of the centres have already been captured in this year’s budget which has also increased the funding of the agency for an effective and efficient fight against drugs.
Earlier, Abdullahi-Fakai disclosed that between January and June, the Kogi Command arrested 149 suspects and was able to seize 1,699kg of illicit drugs.
Abdullahi-Fakai described the drug abuse situation in Kogi and Nigeria as a whole as highly disturbing and called for collective efforts to tackle it.
The Maigari of Lokoja, His Royal Highness, Dr Muhammad Kabir Maikarfi the III, commended the NDLEA boss for his vision and tactics in the fight against illicit drugs in the country.
The royal father, represented by a retired permanent secretary, Aliyu Lawal, said the need to win the war against drug abuse has become necessary, noting that it would help prevent danger and harm to the economy, families and society.
Kabir, however, called for more funding and employment opportunities for NDLEA to enable it to succeed in the drug war and save millions of Nigerians from being destroyed, stimulating the desired growth and development of the nation.
The seminar with the theme: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis” was attended by secondary school students, NYSC corps members, young pharmaceutical groups and other stakeholders.