Drug abuse: Kaduna govt, firm train 138 health workers, ward heads, others

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Apparently worried by the increasing rate of drug abuse among individuals especially the youth in the state, the Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Kaduna state is collaborating with Hasamco Investment Limited to train 138 stakeholders on effective strategies for curbing drug abuse and youth restiveness in Kaduna communities.

Participants of the 3-day step down work shop with the theme “Strategies for Curbing Drug Abuse and Youth Restiveness in our Communities” including community health workers, nursing officers, information officers, youth development officers, social development officers and ward heads were drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

Speaking on the training, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hasamco Investment Limited, Nurudeen Umar said according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), about 47 per cent of people are abusing drugs in Kaduna saying, “Those that are being prosecuted are below the age of 17 years.”

He said, “Drug abuse has penetrated deep into our society where everyone including the rich and poor suffer its consequences and that is why the government of Kaduna state is strongly challenging and trying to prevent the negative impact by taking precautionary steps to stop the abuse of drugs.

“Drug abuse has entered deep into many families where you will see that all members of the family including the father, mother and the children are all into drugs, there was a family we interacted with, we queried the girl for taking drugs but she said even her father was taking drugs, which means, generation, to generation it will be passed down.”

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He noted that the long term abuse of drugs has negative effect on the human body as it causes liver, Kidney and heart diseases adding that, “For the women, it causes infertility which is of major concern to our society and the nation at large.”

He explained that the government is strategizing to prevent the abuse of drugs rather than rehabilitate drug users noting, “If you prevent the taking of drugs, it will be easier and we will have a better generation rather than incurring the cost of medical care and the long time it will take to get cured so that the future generation does not inherit the traits for a productive and secure society.”

Head, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, Dr. Folorunsho Nuhu in his paper titled “Modern Techniques for Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Abuse” said, “In Nigeria, 22.1 per cent of adolescents between the ages of 12 years to 19 years use tobacco, 14.5 per cent alcohol, 7.2 per cent sniffing agent, 6.7 per cent amphetamine and ephedrine, 3.6 per cent cocaine and 3.4 per cent cannabis.”

Representative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna state command, Dr. Ibraheem Baba in his paper titled “Effective Strategies for Community and Law Enforcement Agencies Partnership Towards Prevention of Drug Abuse/Crime”, said the unholy relationship between drug abuse and crime is unique because most crimes are committed under the influence of drugs.

He said the need for more humane interface between security agencies and the community can never be over emphasized because they are a complementary component of a working society.

He said security agencies must improve on response time to distress situations saying it will go a long way to engender confidence and trust.

“There is need to equip security agencies with human and material resources to tackle the current security situation, adequate and suitable training are indispensable options and the deployment of information technology infrastructure is a sine qua non effective community policing,” he added.

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