The Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP) have urged parents to create enough time for their children to monitor their activities to prevent early traces of drug use among them.
The Program Manager of the organisation, Mrs. Evelyn Joseph, said this in Enugu on Friday at a two-day media training organised by the Society and funded by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Speaking on the theme of the training: Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crimes in Nigeria; the SIRP Program Manager said by so doing, it will prevent them from escalating into drug abuse.
Joseph noted that West Africa, including Nigeria, remained a key transit point for drug trafficking, adding that, “in late 2017, Lagos Custom seized 115 tons of Tramadol.”
According to her, a survey conducted by National Bureau of Statistics and Centre for Research and Information in Substance Abuse showed that 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 to 64 had used drugs.
“The survey further showed that 22.4 percent of drug abusers are in the South West; 16.2 percent in the South-South; 13.8 percent in the South East, 13.2 percent in the North-East; 12.0 percent in the North West and 10.4 percent in the North Central.”
While noting that drug abusers could be treated and reintegrated back to society, she said the organisation had adopted drug counselling to encourage and motivate abusers to reduce their drug use-related risks.
Joseph expressed regret that a lot of young ones were going into drugs without knowing the effect of what they are going into.
Another facilitator and a social worker, Nnedi Ugwu, said that the training would go a long way in preventing the youths from abusing drugs.
Ugwu said that many drug abusers who are dependent found it difficult to come for counselling and treatment to avoid being stigmatised by members of the society.
The social worker urged members of the public not to stigmatise against drug abusers but should rather see them as individuals in dire need of help to enable them to come out of their situation.
A social influencer, Clement Umoh, admitted that the training had helped him to have a better understanding on the issue related to drug abuse, so as to discourage his social media followers from indulging in the act.
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