…As survey shows rise in substance use.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
An NGO, the ‘Eye Opener Women and Youth Foundation,’ on Friday pledged to support Kaduna state Bureau for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, KADBUSA, on its mandate on prevention and reduction of drug abuse in the state.
President of the foundation, Mrs Margaret Julius, who made the commitment during a courtesy visit on the KADBUSA office to mark the global free drug day, stated that, the foundation has been conducting programmes against drug abuse and dangerous smoking addiction, to save the youths, who are the future leaders, from self-destruction.
According to her, “We are creating awareness and sensitization programs and teaching in communities, while one of our cardinal programs is ‘war against drugs abuse’ and ‘safe the future leaders.’
“International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed globally on June 26 every year, with the theme of year 2020 as ‘Better knowledge for better care.’
“We come out today as an organization to join in the fight against drugs with KADBUSA by creating more awareness in the communities on the danger of drugs abuse,” she noted.
She explained that, they have been working and going down to the root of problems by teaching the youths and reforming them to come out of the epidemic.
“Our foundation is grassroots-based, and we are opportune to reach out to these youths, and it’s not even only the youth, who engage in drugs, it also includes women,” she said.
Mrs Julius said that “Drug abuse has become an enemy in the whole world, and we wish to partner with KADBUSA and work together so that Kaduna state will come free of drugs.”
She noted that, “If drug abuse is not well handled, it’ll result to sharing Covid-19 in communities. The youth now share middles of drugs even smoking, which can lead to transmission of Coronavirus. Our sign of commitment is to work towards bringing an end to the scourge,” she added.
In his remarks, Director-General of Kaduna state KADBUSA, Dr Joseph Maigari, said substance abuse is a pandemic and a big problem, adding that “We are faced with two problems now – the Covid -19 pandemic and that of substance abuse.
The DG, while sending warning to those, who supply illicit drugs, said the state is no longer a place for them to carry out such act and what he termed as “blood money trade.”
While reiterating government’s commitment in its support and rehabilitation of those that abuse drugs, he stated thus: “We’re working on preventing new cases, while treating existing cases together with various NGOs, which will help to reduce the demand and substance abuse in the state; which means that, the problem of drugs abuse is being given the attention it deserves – from tackling issues that relate to the supply side of drug abuse”
He said drug abuse cannot be tackled by managing only the supply site, but also to diminish on demand.
“It is on this trend that Kaduna state created ‘Kaduna State Bureau for Substance Abuse, Prevention and Treatment.’
“A combination of reduction of demand of drug and supply will bring solution to these problems, and Kaduna is moving in the right direction,” he said, while calling on other states to replicate agencies like the Eye Opener, so that drug abuse could be addressed from the demand and supply side adequately.
He also called for more funding to people working in this space, adding that a recent survey has shown rise in the substance use.
Also, while calling on all to eschew the use of dangerous drugs and trafficking dangerous drugs, Dr Maigari stressed that, illicit trafficking of these drugs can be detrimental to society, and appealed for sense of reasoning for that to stop.
He further called on young people and women to help in the fight by eschewing the use of dangerous drugs that will affect their functioning and social well-being.
He called on all to celebrate the day and also increase funding from front and corporate world to save the world where people will be able to go about their businesses in peace and make more profits.
Dr Maigari said drug abuse is at the center of every crime, adding that the average national prevalence rate of drugs and substance abuse is 14.4%, while the figure for Kaduna state stands at 9.9% on a recent survey.
“If we are able to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse, peace will be restored in the society and people will be able to carry out their business.”
The KADBUSA D-G assured that they will continue to work “very closely” with the Eye Opener in whatever way they can support on the mandate on prevention and treatment in ensuring that the reduction of drug abuse in the state is achieved.
According to him, “The rehabilitation of rehabilitation center is ongoing in the state, while working on prevention of substance abuse by educating people and ensuring that all this is combined to bring about behavioural change in these individuals so that they can become better people and make right decisions.”