Drug abuse: NGO tasks govt on huge investment

Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA) has urged the government at all levels to invest massively in the prevention and treatment programmes to stem the tide of drug abuse in the country.

VGADA’s national coordinator, Dr. Hope Omeiza, who made the call at a two-day training and sensitisation workshop on Drug Abuse Prevention held in Lokoja, said the theme of the 2022 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Addressing Drug Challenges In Health And Humanitarian Crises” was apt and timely.

He said the workshop was organised by VGADA in partnership with Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET).

He said there was the need for the federal government to “begin to see the issue of drug abuse as a public health problem and the template behind most of the crime being perpetrated in the country today.”

“The government needs to invest so much more in prevention and treatment programmes which include: training, sensitisation, advocacy, policy formulation that will aid to stem the tide of drug abuse.

“The government at all levels must ensure that treatment centres are available, prevention programmes are on the way, and let people who are drugged up to the reality and be ready to change,” he said.

In his remarks, the Kogi state commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Abdulkadir Abdullahi, said drug abuse remained a global menace that should be jointly tackled by all to curb its upsurge and the devastating effects in society.

Abdullahi, who was represented by the deputy commander, Narcotics, NDLEA, Mustapha Haladu, noted that about 70 to 75 per cent crimes committed globally were under the influence of drugs.

According to him, “wherever there is crime there is drug, and wherever there is drug there is crime.”

On his part, the chairperson of KONGONET, Ambassador Idris Muraina, said the workshop was to build capacities of people at the community level to provide necessary support and guide people to take them out of the quagmire of drug abuse.

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