Humanitarian Affairs minister champions enlightenment campaign against drug abuse

Minister of Nigeria Humanitarian affairs Hajiya Umar Farouq

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has lamented consequences of drug abuse on individuals, families and organisations, calling on stakeholders for urgent intervention.

Speaking Wednesday in Abuja, during an awareness creation event organized by the ministry on drug addiction and humanitarian crises, Farouq, represented by the Deputy Director, Social Development department of the Ministry, Mr. Chogudo Sule Aliyu, said that the fight should not be left to government alone as misguided youths pose threat to themselves and society if not redirected.

She said: “In our journey to nation building and national development, we need to put in more efforts towards addressing the menace of drug and substance abuse among youths in the country. The menace should not be left to government, individuals and rehabs alone but should be a collective responsibility with everyone playing their role.

“The government of the day is also very much concerned about the growing number of controlled substance abusers in the country. The priority is advocacy and we have to tell our people and our youth that abusing drugs is risky, not good, and that it is illegal.

“This event resonates with my Ministry’s advocacy programmes towards informing and educating parents, communities and society to understand the reality of drug abuse and need for them to come together to address drug abuse in the country. The government is doing a lot in schools on the drug issue. We must take drug abuse programmes very seriously in order to have a sane society.

“We are not unmindful, there are still challenges, drug abuse can result in short- and long-term negative consequences ranging from issues such as disrupted sleep patterns to loss of employment and problems with relationships. Problematic substance use can also increase a person’s risk for developing long-term medical issues such as heart disease, cancer, as well as certain co-occurring mental health conditions.

“This is indeed a problem that requires our total commitment, if we must change the narratives. Everybody loses to drug abuse, physically, socially, financially, and mentally. It is important to note that winning the war against drug abuse requires holistic efforts from all stakeholders. We must educate our young ones to stay away from drug abuse and encourage those who are currently abusing drugs t0 stop the act. We must educate people, especially your friends and family, on drug abuse and its consequences.”

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