The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Wednesday called the attention of parents and communities to improve the monitoring of youths against the use of drug abuse. The agency said in Lagos that majority of youths who abused drugs would deny doing so.
Mrs. Stelle Ngwoke, NDLEA Assistant Director, Drug Abuse Preventive Education (DAPE) made her stance in Surulere during a community campaign on drug abuse and misuse.
The campaign was arranged by the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists.
Ngwoke spoke on “The Role of NDLEA in Combating Drug Abuse in the Country’’.
She described illegal drugs as any substances that could be transformed the central nervous system and affect the person’s behavior or thought.
“Parents need to face the challenges their children are experiencing as regards drug abuse by checking their activities.
“Denial of drug abuse by their children is a problem that must also be faced by parents if they want this menace to be eradicated easily.
“Parents should not be too tired to listen and pay attention to their needs because once they lose faith in you, they can never confide in you,’’ the official said.
Ngwoke stated that drug abuse posed a serious problem for the victim, the family and the entire society at large. A person that abuses drugs should not be taken as a criminal but a sick person.
She elucidated that, drug abuse brought misery to the family, adding that the victim would be more predisposed to contacting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and some other illnesses.
The NDLEA official added that drug abuse could lead to crime.
“The NDLEA, in combating drug abuse, has introduced two strategies: the supply reduction – which has to do with reducing drugs in the society – and the demand reduction.”
Ngwoke said that the agency was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Education to include drug education in the curriculum of secondary schools.
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), M John Bamikole, also tasked parents to properly monitor their children’s activities.
“When last did you go to your children’s room to check the content of their bags?’’
‘`Farm parties exist where people put things in the vent of their air conditioners, which spread drugs that affect people,” he said.
Bamikole encouraged youths at the event to go to the nooks and crannies including other places where drug addict and drug abusers usually lurked to teach them about the consequences of drug abuse.
“There is a need for people to wake up to their responsibilities and be their brothers’ keepers so that the menace will be eradicated completely,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Obele Odan Community Development Area in Surulere, Mr. Yusuf Osagie, called for proper enforcement of the law against illicit drugs peddling.
“Drug abuse is not desirable in any society, and should be discouraged; it can lead to fragmentation in the family, and also death.
“Parents should pay attention to what their children are doing and know the kind of friends they keep,’’ Osagie advised.