Drug abuse root cause of insecurity – KADBUSA boss

Drug abuse is one of the root causes of banditry and insecurity in Nigeria and has become pandemic in the country, Director General Kaduna State Bureau for Substance Abuse, Prevention and Treatment (KADBUSA) Dr Joseph Maigari has said.

Dr Maigari told a stakeholders’ meeting with civil society groups and non-governmental organisations on Wednesday in Kaduna that the prevalence of substance abuse started many years back when Nigeria became transit point for drug traffickers to Europe. He said inadequate efforts to address the challenge through supply side, while leaving the demand side contributed immensely to the huge growth of the challenge.

“There are consequences of substance abuse in terms of banditry and security challenges in the country. It’s actually a pandemic. About 10.9% of people in Kaduna state are involved in drug abuse, it is a huge problem from when Nigeria was a transit country to Europe.

“That was when we should have started planning to address it. Some efforts were made in drug supply reduction space through NDLEA and other security agencies but now it’s clear that it is not supply side alone because there is the demand side. That is why in Kaduna state we are looking at it from both the demand and supply sides. We have made progress in the demand reduction as Kaduna state was the first to engage in legislative and legal framework.

“Drug abuse is the next big problem on health, that is why there is need for adequate sensitisation, public enlightenment and education to achieve behavioural change and ensure that young people stay away from drug abuse, which is why Kaduna state government decided to engage all the people involved in the demand side from government and non government bodies.”

Speaking on the essence of the stakeholders’ meeting, the KADBUSA boss said the meeting will help his agency carry out a mapping to know who is where so that they can engage their programmes across the three senatorial zones and 23 local government areas.

“Drug abuse, drug addiction are medical diagnoses, we want to work hard on prevention before attacking the other aspects using the HIV/AIDS model.”