In commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has sensitised students of Government Day Secondary School, Masaka, Nasarawa state.
The sensitisation held on Monday was in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Young Ambassadors Against Drug Abuse Initiative (YAADAI) and the Centre for Ethical Rebirth Among Nigerian Youths (CERANY).
Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, represented by the Director, Legal Department, Haganawega Garba, said the challenges of drug abuse are particularly on parents failing to inculcate good moral values in their children and failure of teachers to render proper education to students.
He said: “There are many social factors that have resulted in abuse of drug. These include decline of family value system, peer pressure, parents not playing their roles properly and children not receiving proper guidance from parents/teachers.
“Given the enormity of substance abuse in our country, the most effective tool to combat drug abuse is strengthen prevention programmes because prevention is the best approach. That is why the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has embarked on this sensitisation campaign to teach the students and the general public about the risks of drug abuse.
“At the same time, we need to ensure that our treatment programmes are effective to help those that are already in the cycle of drug abuse.”
Also speaking, the Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd), represented by an Superintendent of Narcotics, SN. Austin Nduka, said the greatest challenge of the Agency was tackling myths on drug abuse, especially misleading publications on social media.
“There are so many myths and misinformation spread on social media about drug abuse. People, especially youths, accept these lies, leading to lose of lives. For instance, we are presently handling a case of a young boy in our rehabilitation center.
“He told us that he was lured into embrace drugs because of what he heard that if you smoke weed that witches will avoid you and you will live long. There is this misconception that if you take drugs you will be avoided by witches because your live is already finished. Drug abuse causes humanitarian crisis. When we go to raid flashpoints, the greater number of people we arrest are young people who were lured into drugs,” he said.
Highlight of the event was a short drama presentation on the dangers of drug abuse by the Centre for Ethical Rebirth Among Nigerian Youths (CERANY).