By Kemi Olatunde
As residents of Ondo State approach the festive period, the need for them to desist from drug abuse has been stressed.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka spoke with The Hope during a walk to sensitise the public against drug abuse yesterday in Akure.
According to him, drug abuse has become a menace in Nigeria, nothing that a reasonable number of people especially youths have embraced the act.
While lamenting the burden of mental illness which according to him has overwhelmed the state NeuroPsychiatric Hospital in Akure, Ajaka said that abusers of drugs take substances including Colorado, drink mix with skuchies, feaces as well as sniffing of burnt plastic containers.
He called on residents to shun acts related to drug abuse so as to live a better life.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Prof. Dayo Faduyile while speaking noted that government has put in place measures to guard against it.
According to him, “government is guiding against the availability of drugs and also ensuring that those on these drugs are adequately rehabilitated.”
Also speaking, State Deputy Commander, Drug Demand Reduction Unit, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Yetunde Jeyifous while lamenting the extent of drug abuse which according to her is injurious to health, called on residents to stay away from drug in order to live long to celebrate more Christmas in good health and sound mind.
Addressing some drivers at the popular Oja Oba market in Akure, Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Ministry of Health, Pharm. Gbenga Lasekan, described fatal road traffic accidents which according to him mostly result to loss of lives and properties as one of the consequences of drug abuse and called on them to desist from it.
At the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Adeusi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharm. Folukemi Aladenola, noted that it is important that residents desist from it so as to have an improved society.
Responding, the Deji while commending the state government for putting in place the programme, called on youths to enlighten other residents on the dangers of drug abuse including increased crime rate, banditry and terrorism, suicide and drop out of school among others.