Relevant stakeholders have been tasked by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on Sunday, to recognise and address the menace of illegal drug availability, abuse and trafficking.
This is contained in a statement by the National President of FIDA Nigeria, Mrs Amina Agbaje, in Abuja to commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The Day has as its theme: “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises”
“Must more need to be done regarding the prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration of drug abusers into society.
“Let us work collectively to keep our children, the youth and communities safe from exposure to drug use, drug trade/trafficking activities.
“As we strive to prevent further humanitarian crises within our country, particularly as we mark another International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking,” she said.
Agbaje said drug misuse was a traumatic experience for both the addict and his or her family and friends, who may feel helpless in the face of the sickness.
She said addiction to any substance, whether legal or illegal, could lead to serious health conditions, adding that certain medications could alter the structure and functioning of the brain.
“It impacts an individual’s self-control and interferes with the capacity to resist the impulse to consume the substance after repeated use.
“We find that under the influence of drugs, most members of the society exhibit irrational behaviour, cause conflicts, overreact on issues, as they lack capacity and the control to do things right.
“Consequently, in a society where all age groups are susceptible to drug abuse, the above poses a serious dilemma,” Agbaje said.
She, however, said all relevant stakeholders should intervene to make the world safe, peaceful with continuous progressive development.
“We must all work together as collaborators, share genuine information about the drug issue, from health dangers to solutions to the global drug epidemic, as well as evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care services in times of crisis,” Agbaje said.
She said to commemorate the Day, FIDA Nigeria raised a huge ‘Red Flag’ and calls for prompt action by all key actors and stakeholders.
Agbaje said the UN classified the menace of Drug abuse and illicit trafficking as a ‘disturbing obstruction to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’, particularly Goals 3 on health and Goal 16 on peaceful societies.
“As such drug abuse and illicit trafficking are no longer seen as minuscule factors affecting development in society, but a huge menace to the attainment of a peaceful and developed society with a healthy populace.
” The key purpose of the commemoration of the day is to raise awareness of the major dilemma that illicit drugs represent to society, and to increase action and collaboration in the pursuit of a world free of drug abuse,” she said.
Agbaje said due to the insecurities across the nation fueled by multiple social, economic, political challenges of all dimensions, porous borders and inability to control armed men attacking communities had aggravates the situation.
She said the attacks and the resultant insecurities have displaced millions of people, devastated agricultural production and other livelihoods, cut off essential services, and caused a crisis of protection.
“The frustrations are indeed immense, cutting across all genders and communities in the country with no early end to the conflict foreseeable.
“‘Reliance on available drugs to escape one’s frustrations seems therefore an easy route to take,” Agbaje said.
She said In Nigeria, over 2.1 million people or 300,000 households, are now internally displaced in northern Nigeria, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
Agbaje said the resultant effect was a humanitarian crises situation which must be addressed urgently.
“Populations affected by humanitarian emergencies are particularly vulnerable to substance (alcohol and other drug) use and its disorders, yet treatment and prevention services are very scarce.
“The different types of substances usually abused are readily available and easily purchasable.
“This is wrong and aggressive intervention is necessary with the collaborative effort of all key players, “she said.
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