By Kemi Olatunde
With the overwhelming statistics of youths indulging in drug and substance abuse, Ondo State Committee on drug abuse in collaboration with APIN Public Health Initiative has embarked on sensitisation of Corps members in Akure South Local Government area of the state.
The campaign was aimed at educating and enlightening the corps members on the dangers inherent in drugs and substance abuse and the consequences on their health and their future
Addressing the corps members at their monthly clearance exercise, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharm. (Mrs) Folukemi Aladenola said youths have been linked to drug and substance abuse, misuse, addiction and illicit trafficking.
Represented by Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Pharm Olugbenga Lasekan explained that people, particularly youths may be obligated to use and abuse drugs and substances if their peers indulge in it which according to her, is one of the fundamental problems of drug abuse.
She noted that the dangers in the abuse of drugs are more than the advantages or enjoyment they think they get from it which according to her could change the course of their lives
She therefore advised that rather than indulging themselves in abusing drug they should channel the energy into learning new skills apart from what they have learnt in school.
The Permanent Secretary enjoined them to extend the sensitisation to their various places of primary assignments especially corp members working with the young minds.
Dr. Sunday Sajo, a psychiatrist with the Neuro- Psychiatric Hospital, Akure underscored the importance of staying off drug abuse, saying it could mess up their brains and lead to life long dependency.
Mr Stewart Samuel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) reiterated that about 1.3million youths engage in drug abuse annually and any medicine taken without prescription by qualified health personnel amounts to the abuse of drug
He explained that substances frequently abused by the youth are cocaine, marijuana, heroine, alcohol, codeine, colorado, shisha, tramadol among others.
The representative of APIN Public Health Initiative, Pharm Raymond Echenime said his organization saw the need to sensitize the corps member about the danger of drug abuse because it is one of the factors that leads to increment in the spread