Dr Nelson Akinlose has urged youths to shun the temptation of experimenting, usage of hard drugs and neuro-psychotic substances.
Akinlose, who is with the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital, Enugu State gave the advice while delivering a lecture in at a seminar to mark 2021 World Drug Abuse Day in the state.
The title of the lecture: “The Need to Say No to Drugs and Illicit Drug Trafficking delivered at the University of Nigeria Secondary School, was organised by the hospital in collaboration with the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP); Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Enugu Chapter and other partners.
He said that students, who are supposed to have future ambition, should not desire to be associated with drug use or engage in its sales or trafficking to achieve their pursuits in life.
According to him, about one quarter of a billion (250 million) people between the ages of 15 and 64, used at least one drug.
“One out of eight people suffer from drug use disorders; while the prevalence of people who inject drugs is 12 million. Many people involved in injecting drugs are prone to HIV and Hepatitis C infection,’’ he said.
The physician noted that the way forward to overcome drug abuse and trafficking was not to get involved with it at all; thus,
“prevention is the ultimate solution. While early identification of drug abuse sufferers can lead to early and successful treatment as well as medical detoxification and rehabilitation of the sufferer to his or her well-being,’’ he said.
Earlier, Prof Michael Ezewa, South-East Coordinator of ISSUP, said that the seminar was to mark the United Nation (UN) Day for a society free of drugs and all awareness against drug abuse.
“What we are doing together with other partners at this secondary school is to catch-them-young and stop the influence of drug abuse among students. ISSUP and partners are here to sensitise them on practical and empirically verifiable dangers of drug abuse and trafficking in life.
“Drug abuse is a very dangerous and devastating thing to engage in or even think about, that is why we must put concerted efforts to check it at all levels,’’ he said.
In his address, Dr Jude Onyia, the Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, said that drug abuse always causes a series of health challenges and psychological problems for the user(s) in the future.
Onyia, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer of NMA, Dr Uzoamaka Ezenwugo, noted that using non prescribed drugs can also lead one to drug abuse and getting addicted to such a drug.
“NMA is urging Nigerian youths, especially students, to say no to drugs and strive to live drug-free lives,’’ he said.
One of the participants at the seminar, Miss Chioma Ani, said that the seminar had exposed her to the need to keep away from bad companies and negative peer influence in order not to get involved in drug abuse.
“I will always be open to my parents about anybody, no matter how close to me, leading and luring me to engage in drug use in any guise,’’ Ani, a Senior Secondary School – 2 Student, said.