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International Day Against Drug Abuse
• CSHEEH takes campaign to schools

JuL, 2021 | By Prudence Okonna and Embrace Onuoha | ||

The Centre for School Health Education and Environmental Hygiene (CSHEEH) has called on young adults to beware of the dangers of abusing drugs. The Director of CSHEEH, Dr Folashade Momoh while speaking at a sensitization and awareness campaign to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking at Junior Secondary School Apo Legislative Quarters, said young people need to know the consequences of abusing drugs and the need for them to keep away.

Children or adolescents, she added, need to be aware of the dangers of doing drugs, hence the need to catch them young . The theme for the 2021 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking is 'To share facts on drugs and to save lives".

Dr Momoh said the theme was timely as there was the need to share the facts about drug abuse because there are lots of messages passed to them because of peer pressure and they want to accept this information. Young people who abuse drugs are exposed to many consequences. The keynote speaker Director/Head of Pharmacy Department, National Hospital Abuja, Pharm. Dr. (Mrs.) Detutu Ajemigbitse, said that drug abuse is when people use drugs for non-medical purposes, for selfish reasons. For instance, buying medicines off the streets without prescription.

She added that when drugs are misused, substances in the medicine affect how the brain works and it creates changes in the mood, talk, feelings, behavior and awareness of a person. The longer people abuse drugs, the more they tend to have very bad effects on them. A survey carried out in Nigeria by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reviewed that the two most common drugs that are abused in Nigeria are Tramadol and Codeine-that is cough syrup that contains Codeine. Others are Marijuana known as India hemp or Igbo, Vallejo, and Lopermide Dr. Ajemigbitse while educating the students said some of these drugs are supposed to be for medical purposes but people have resorted to abusing them.

The commonly abused drugs among students are Amphetamines. They're stimulants, meaning that they help people stay awake. Long distance truck drivers abuse them and many other people who want to keep alert. They can be taken in different ways or forms through injection, swallowed, sniffed, smoked, mixed and consumed. In response, one of the students, Esther Bamidale thanked CSHEEH for honouring their school with such a health talk and awareness campaign. She said that it will help students to be educated and avoid abuse of drugs. She advised that drugs should not be used for fun.

A 2019 report on drugs shows that nearly 15% of the adult population in Nigeria (around 14.3 million people) reported a "considerable level" of use of psychoactive drug substances, a rate much higher than the 2016 global average of 5.6% among adults. The survey was led by Nigeria's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Center for Research and Information on Substance Abuse with technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and funding from the European Union.

It showed the highest levels of drug use was recorded among people aged between 25 to 39, with cannabis being the most widely used drug. Sedatives, heroin, cocaine and the non-medical use of prescription opioids were also noted. The survey excluded the use of tobacco and alcohol.

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