The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in conjunction with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Young Pharmacist Group (YPG), on Wednesday, launched campaign on Youth Against Drug Abuse in Kwara.
The PSN-YPG State Coordinator, Bamidele Aborisade, said the project, funded by NAFDAC, was a drug abuse preventive programme for the youths in the state.
The event was attended by representatives of various Secondary Schools across the state.
The young pharmacist group leader noted that some 31 million people suffered from drug abuse worldwide, according to the World Health Organisations (WHO).
Aborisade explained that the coalition of NAFDAC and PSN-YPG was targeting about 53,000 students across secondary schools to sensitise them to danger of drug abuse.
She said they were also targeting 100 guardians per secondary school, who would be engaged in campaign to other youths against drug abuse.
According to her, drug misuse and abuse are two different concepts, while drug misuse is taking drugs that are not prescribed.
She explained that drug abuse or substance abuse refers to the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the body.
The initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, but drugs can take control of a persons life and self control, she said.
Aborisade told the youths that risk factors that predisposed people to drugs included agrressive or abusive environment, poor social skills, drug experimentation and drug availability among others.
A Consultant Psychiatrist with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr Ayotunde Omotosho, explained that Cannabis was historically introduced to Nigeria by the veteran soldiers who fought the World War II in 1945.
According to him, drugs from the legal point of view can be licit and illicit.
The expert warned that inhalant drugs were now prevalent among primary and secondary schools children.
He said, effects of drugs included the biological, psychological, and social changes.
Also speaking at the event, the State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Mrs Roseline Ajayi, asserted that drug abuse in Nigeria had become a curse and the trend was evolving.
Ajayi, who was represented by the Assistant Director of NAFDAC in Kwara, Mr Ben Phillips, said it was previously morphine, but now drugs had shifted to marijuana and cannabis among others.
The Kwara NAFDAC boss, revealed that a recent report showed that one out of seven people had used drugs, age ranging from 15 to 64.
He added that one in every four drug users was a woman, in the age range of 25 to 39 years and that these people suffered from Drug-user-disorder.
He called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders in Nigeria to fight drug abuse in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that event at the launching of youths against drug abuse campaign included dramas and documentaries, portraying the dangers of drug abuse.
Some of the secondary schools that attended the occasion included St. Joseph Secondary School, Ilorin, Bishop Smith Memorial College, Ilorin and Government Secondary School, Ilorin among others.
Source Pulse Nigeria