March 8, 2023.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has advised the youth against taking psychoactive drugs and alcohol capable of destroying their future.
Dr Ngozi Madubuike, The NDLEA Director, Drug Demand Reduction, gave the advice during sensitisation of secondary school students in Abuja on Wednesday.
The theme of the programme is “Grassroots sensitisation and awareness campaign on dangers of illicit drugs”.
She said: “Youths are building blocks of every developed nation and the stronger the youth of a country, the more developed the country will be.
”Time has therefore come for all hands to be on deck and to do this, there is the need for greater involvement of the youth themselves.
“I therefore challenge each one of you to take action today by engaging in awareness creation and enlightenment programmes in schools.
“You can also start by joining a club or activity that provides alternative use of time thereby, promoting drug free life styles and being a role model to fellow peers”.
Madubuike said psychoactive drugs were very harmful to the health of the youths and had the potential to destroy their future.
She said that the goal of the sensitisation was to catch them young, noting that youths involvement in drug abuse had taken a frightening dimension in Nigeria.
The director also said that ingenuity had been introduced into drug abuse with complex mixtures and experimentations.
”This has resulted to abuse of substances which are not under any international control.
“Drug users now include young people, females and those living in rural areas.
“According to National Drug Use Survey 2018, an estimated 14.3 million people in Nigeria between the ages of 15 and 64 years have used psychoactive substances other than alcohol and tobacco while one in four drug users is a female.
“The above report is worrisome because when someone gets involved with drugs, it leads to suffering, not only for the drug user but also for family members, friends and members of the society,” she said.
The NDLEA official, however, said that the goal of the agency was to reverse the ugly trend through prevention by helping young people to avoid or delay initiation into drug abuse.
Madubuike further said that the agency was interested in youth development, health living and safe development of children, to enable them realise their potential and contribute to societal growth.
Earlier, the Project Manager, Nababa Global Concept Ltd., a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Mr Musa Nasamu, reiterated that the sensitisation was to enlighten the youth on the dangers of illicit drugs.
Nasamu said that the NGO supported the NDLEA’s drive against the use of illicit drugs and substances across the country.
”If we don’t let the students know the dangers now or sensitise them, then we are calling for disaster on them.
“We are here to tell the students that if you use illicit drugs, then you lose your life. All we are doing today is to support what the NDLEA is doing because truly, they are fighting the scourge already.
“We choose secondary schools because they are at the vulnerable stage and it is very important to let them know what drugs do to the body.
“They are in a stage when they start making decision for their life, which means if they missed it at this stage, they have missed it for life. But to avoid them missing it, we are here to educate them,” he said.
One of the students, Success Olugbenga, from GSS Garki, Area 10, said he was delighted to participate and benefit from the programme.
Olugbenga promised to educate others who were not part of the awareness programme, pledging also to take the campaign to family and friends.
Naija247news reports that the awareness programme was organised by NDLEA in collaboration with the Nababa Global Concept Ltd. (www.naija247news.com).