14.3m drug use prevalent in Nigeria worries PCN

By Amos Mathew, Kaduna
Pharmarcists Council of Nigeria (PCN) on Thursday gathered critical stakeholders in Kaduna to brainstorm on alarming statistics on drug use prevalence in Nigeria and the way forward.
The World Drug Report (2019) had peg the drug use prevalence in Nigeria at 14.4 percent that is, 14.4 million people between the ages of 15 – 64 years which is comparatively higher when compared to global prevalence rate.
Registrar, PCN, Pharmacist Elisha Mohammed said, curiosity and peer pressure were majorly factors why people especially school children and young persons embark on non-medical drug use.
According to him, the development pained the Council considering the economic contributions of this group to national development, hence the thought to bring vulnerable groups especially, school children and policymakers together to chat the way forward.
“The seminar on drugs and substances abuse in Northwest organised by Pharmarcists Council of Nigeria (PCN) for Codeine Control and other Related Matters Working Group (CCRWG) held at popular Arewa House, Kaduna, was conceived to provide a platform of interaction to increase awareness on the subject matter,” he said. 
Speaking on the topic: Curbing the manace of drug abuse through information, education and communication, the keynote Speaker, Professor Oluwatoyin Odeku said, the issues of drugs has been giving her a serious concern.
According to her, the drugs are meant to address a particular health issue it was proscribed for which people now abuse without prescription, a development that have led to brain damage which is quite expensive to manage at rehabilitation centres.
“Drug abuse kills. Drug abuse truncates future. Children please don’t be involved in drug abuse. You have a great future. God has deposited a lot of potentials in you. Drug abuse affect the way your body performs. It affect important part of your body.
“It changes your brain chemistry. It takes control of your brain because it has affected the brain, some will become repressive or depressive. They look unkept. They engage in strange behaviour.
“The issue of drug abuse is a a big problem in Nigeria and all of us must come together to come up with the way forward.
“There should be surveillance on emerging drugs whereby the government will be strategically positioned to know about the emerging drugs with a view to nip it in the bud early enough,” she urged.

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