By Ibironke Ariyo
Abuja, Aug 12, 2020 The Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA) has launched the project of rehabilitation of 40,000 youths from drug abuse across the country.
Speaking at the event on Wednesday in Abuja, The President of the organisation, Dr Hope Abraham said that the project would begin in Abuja immediately.
Naija247news reports that the NGO had on June 26 said it would rehabilitate 40,000 drug users by 2030 following the celebration of World Drug Day.
Abraham said that the national programme was earmarked to be carried out in at least 20 centers across the six geo-political zones of the country.
He also said that it was targeted at youths with Drug Use Disorder, giving them skills and vocational training.
This he said, would be with provision of start -ups and setting up of self–help group during and after formal treatment.
“VGADA is a nonprofit public benefit organisation. In ensuring a Drug-Free Nigeria, our activities in the last two years spanned across sensitisation, awareness, policy advocacy, drug demand reduction and treatment.
“Our work is supported solely by the generous donations of individuals and corporations enabling us to provide our programme across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, the prevalence of any drug use is estimated at 14.4 Per cent or 14.3million people aged between 15 and 64 years with the largest proportion of this being youths.
“The best programme for drug addiction treatment have been found to be a combination of therapy and other services such as counseling and treatment, skills acquisition that meet the needs of the individual.
“Drug addiction treatments have been found to reduce drug use by 40-60 per cent, reduce crime by 40 – 60 per cent and increases employment prospects by 40 per cent,” he said.
The NGO boss said that the expected outcomes of the project were reduction in the population of individuals who abuse drugs.
He added that it would also help in boosting the economy as a result of establishment of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Abraham commended the effort of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other Enforcement agencies that had helped in curbing menace of drug in the country.
He reinterated the commitment of the organisation to always render help when needed and assure that the organisation would not relent in ensuring that the country was free of drug abuse.
The Chairman, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), appreciated the NGO for the effort so far in ensuring that drug related issues was curbed to the barest minimum in Nigeria.
Represented by the Head, partnership and special projects, Mr Ameh Inalegwu, Abdallah said that consumption of prohibited substances had become a serious challenge to the growth and development of the society.
“This programme today is not just a public enlightenment projecting education and awareness but also creating a platform for drug abusers to get out of drugs and be a better person.
“Part of our mandate is to ensure demand and supply of drugs are reduced to the barest minimum.
“It is a good thing to know that the organisation has been working towards a drug free society by sensitising youths on drugs and its adverse effects,” he said
Abdallah reinterated the agency’s commitment to ensuring the success of the programme.