For the Nigerian communities to be effectively rid of drug abuse and misuse, all hands must be on deck to checkmate the menace, as pharmacists, parents/guardians and government have got key roles to play, the Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State branch, Pharm.(Mrs) Bolanle Adeniran has said.
The PSN chairman, who was fielding questions from press men during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) noted that the degree of drug abuse in the society has gone beyond the reach of pharmacists only, as secondary school students are now involved in the practice.
“As far as drug abuse and misuse is concerned, everybody has a role to play in it -pharmacists, parents/guardians , teachers and more importantly, the government have to join hands together to fight this menace of drug abuse and misuse”, she stated.
Adeniran, who decried the activities of these underdogs in the society, said governments at all levels need to support pharmacists in monitoring and inspecting all areas in the state in order to expose the evil practices of those involved in drug abuse and misuse.
Explaining how and why people get into drug abuse, she said some members of the public get into the act willingly, as a means of getting out of their frustrations and to satisfy the need to feel high. Whereas, some adults, and more especially students are being lured into the practice through their peers.
She however expressed her worry for these people, saying if they know and understand the negative impact of drug abuse and misuse, they will in no wise have engaged in it. “The government more importantly should do everything possible in the area of monitoring, and root out these people from the society. They are the ones destroying our children, as it has got to the stage that it is no longer safe to take ordinary Coke”, she quipped.
Speaking on the group’s goal for the new year, she said it is the intention of the Lagos PSN, to have a conducive practice environment for members, stating that they are going to go all out, to ensure that the feat is achieved.
“Our intention for our people is to have a conducive practice environment, and whatever it takes, especially in the area of inspection and monitoring, we will do it. We actually need the support of the government. Well the task force is doing its best, in fact, of recent; they were given a police outfit, which was not available before. Thus, if the task force can go out regularly and do their surveillance well, we should be able to get to the root of this matter”, she noted.
Still on drug abuse, the Secretary of the association, Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle, while presenting his report to the AGM, mentioned the gross level of drug abuse practice in the northern part of the country, as he said that three million bottles of cough mixture containing Codeine are abused on monthly basis in Kano and Jigawa states.
As a means of eradicating this societal threat, the association launched a new group with the name ”War against drug abuse in Lagos”, which was saddled with the responsibility of fighting drug abuse and misuse wherever it is found across the state.