As part of its commitment to school intervention programmes that promote moral and health education, the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) Lagos Chapter, has advised Nigerian students to shun drug abuse and misuse because of its potential dangers to their health.
The advice was given during a recent programme organised by ALPs and held within the premises of Reagan Memorial Secondary School, Yaba, Lagos State.
According to the organisers, the programme was centered on moral education, environmental health, gender mainstreaming, drug abuse and misuse and personal hygiene advocacy.
In her opening speech at the event, ALPs chairperson, Pharm. Modupe Ologunagba, noted that the programme was part of the ideals of the association, urging the students to shun irrational use of drugs and other unwholesome conducts, in order to safeguard their future and reduce the burden of diseases in the society.
Ologunagba, a lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, revealed that the association’s ultimate goal is a society that is free of health challenges and other social vices, adding that the programme was very important as it was aimed at catching the students young and ensuring that they knew some relevant facts regarding their health and moral values before reaching adulthood.
Addressing the students on the topic, “Drug Misuse, Abuse and Self-Medication among Nigerian Adolescents”, Pharm. (Mrs) S.N. Lan called on the students to always be cautious of what they swallowed in the name of drug taking, saying the menace of drug misuse and abuse had eaten deep into the society, especially among adolescents.
“A drug refers to a substance that could bring about a change in the biological function through its chemical actions. Drugs could thus be considered as chemical modifiers of the living tissues that could bring about physiological and behavioural changes,” Pharm. Lan explained.
Lan, a former chairperson of Lagos chapter of ALPs, therefore advised the students not to handle or use drugs without prescription from medical experts, saying drug misuse is an act of taking drugs in an improper way and that pharmacists are the only experts trained to handle drugs.
Also, while lecturing the students on “Healthy Living”, Pharm. (Mrs) Omolara Ebitigha, a principal pharmacist at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, advised the students on some steps they could take to achieve complete wellness, including eating healthy food, engaging in proper exercise and maintaining a clean environment.
“Health is a complete state of complete mental and physical alertness, that is, the person is fit to do everything. Environmental health is also very important as it comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical and biological, social and psychological factors,” he said.
In their reactions to ALPs gesture, the duo of Favour Joe and Ibe Praise, who were Junior Secondary Students, appreciated the association for the programme, adding that it was an eye-opener for them as many of them had gained a lot from it.
Earlier in her appreciation speech, the principal, Reagan Memorial Secondary School, Mrs Titilayo Amune, who thanked ALPs for the programme and gifts donated to the school, said that the programme was apt, noting that the best time for the young ones to be built for future challenges is when they are still in their teenage years.