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Residents Urge Govt to Tighten Noose on Substance, Drugs Ban

…As addicts beg to be rehabilitated.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Residents of a popularly called ‘Black Street’ in Sabon Tasha, in Chikun local government area of  Kaduna State, has called on governments at all levels to tighten  noose on the implementation of ban on substance and drug abuse across the country.

According to the residents, “Doing so may be the only panacea to eliminate substance and drugs abuse amongst the people, especially women and young girls.”

The call was made during a one-day sensitization campaign on ‘The Involvement and Effect of Substance Abuse Among Women,’ which held at Black Street, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State at the weekend.

The theme of the sensitization, tagged “Better Knowledge for Better Care: Ensuring A Drug-Free Community for Women,” was organized by the Center for Media Advocacy for Mother and Child, otherwise known as CAMAC.

‘Black Street’ is a street in community in Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, where a high number of people, who live in area, including women and young girls, are drug addicts.

The sensitization was organized for women because of the increasing rate of women, who are now into drugs and substance abuse in Kaduna state.

The women, who were remorseful of the acts after listening to the resource persons, noted that abusing drugs has negatively impacted their lives and that of their relatives, adding that the only reason they are still into it is because the drugs are available and affordable for them.

They therefore asked the government to be strict on its ban and be hard on sellers so that hard drugs will become difficult to get. This, they said, might help reduce the rate of abuse and allow them to change their lifestyles.

Some ‘members’ of Black Street also pleaded with the government to come to their rescue by taking them for rehabilitation, as they are already tired of taking drugs. 

Their fears are that, if they should stop without being rehabilitated, it might become more dangerous for them to live.

The women thanked CAMAC team for coming to them with what they called “a message of hope and encouragement,” praying that God will grant them more grace to reach more people whose lives are already in serious danger as a result of drugs addiction.

Earlier, one of the resource persons, Mr. Caleb Mark Ishaya, of Benjamin Bisan Shekari Foundation (BBSF), had explained that those, who abuse substance and drugs, always have their body systems altered, partly from the mental and psychological effects it has on them.

He further enumerated some of the effects of drug abuse as: violence, damaged cells, chronic infection, untimely deaths, restlessness, brain tumors or diseases, damaged reproductive organs, amongst others.

He advised that on no account should drugs be taken without a doctor’s prescription. This, he said will amount to abuse, and later to addiction, if it continues.

“Some of the factors leading to drug abuse,” Mr. Caleb, said “are: culture, advertisements, unemployment, low self esteem, socio-economic status, peer pressure and many more.”

In his remarks, Executive Director of CAMAC, Alex Uangbaoje, said abusing drugs is not just dangerous to the health of the women; it is also dangerous to the health of their children and the unborn children.

According to him, statistics has shown that a high percentage of youths and women in Kaduna State are into drug abuse. This, he noted, calls for serious concern, as it has become imperative for everyone to join hands to save the future for women and young girls in Kaduna state. 

Represented by CAMAC’s Head of Administration, Mr. Samuel Otitolaiye, the ED added, “We are aware that poverty, depression, heartbreaks, amongst others, are some the major reasons women and young girls go into drugs.

“But, as an NGO focused on advocating for the good of women and children in Nigeria, we thought it wise to bring a message that could transform their lives for the better. 

“The truth is that, we are all aware of the effects of drugs and substance abuse; so many of us here can attest to the fact that, the way our lives were before finding ourselves in this circumstance are not what we are today.

“The reason we are here today is for all of us to join hands to find lasting solution on how we can be free forever from this situation that has enslaved us for a longtime,” CAMAC stated.

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