North central accounts for 11.71% drug abuse in Nigeria – NAFDAC


By Mike Adeyemi

The National Food and Drug Agency (NAFDAC), has revealed that the drug abuse index in the North Central of the country has increased, putting the figure at 11.7 per cent growth.
The Kwara State Director of NAFDAC, Mrs. Rose Ajayi, made the revelation at a seminar organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Rebuilding Foundation, in Ilorin, last Tuesday.
She noted that, “As at today, the profile for North Central is rising higher with recent incidences of deaths among youths and students resulting from drug abuse/miss-use even in Kwara State.”
Giving a regional breakdown of the drug abuse index, the director said: “From the records of drug abuse in Nigeria, the Northwest has 37.47 per cent of drug victims, Southwest has 17.32 per cent, the South East has 13.5 per cent, North central has 11.71 per cent while the North East has 8.54 per cent of drug users”.
She further said that ‘United Nation Office on Drug and Crime  (UNODC) estimated that in Nigeria, life time consumption of cannabis is 10.8 per cent, use of psychotropic substances like benzodiapines and amphetamines  types of stimulants is 10.6 per cent, heroine use is 1.6 per cent and cocaine is 1.4 per cent in both rural and urban areas.
“Drug abuse is more prevalent in male with 94.2% than female 5.8% and the age of first use is 10 to 29 years,” Ajayi added.
Also speaking, the Director of Nigerian Drug And Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Friday Oluwi said Drug abuse offences is high among Kwara youth, noting that there is a daily increase in drug related incidence in the state.
“If you have taken any drug without doctor’s prescription, you are abusing drug. Anything you consume that can change your action and reaction is a drug abuse,” Oluwi explained.
In the same vein, Dr. Alfred Mokanjuola, a psychiatric with the University of Teaching Hospital said kola nut is a psychotic drug as its usage and consumption could be abused, adding that palm wine is 11 per cent alcoholic.
In his remarks, the convener of the event, Mr. Gbenga Adekanye expressed worry over the high rate of youth involvement in drug abuse in the country, saying that the issue prompted the setting up of the NGO.
“There is every need for us as a nation to collectively tame the trend of drug abuse in Nigeria. We are sitting on a time bomb which could explode anytime if cogent steps are not taken.”
He urged the Kwara State government to increase sensitisation on the danger inherent in drug abuse so as to mitigate its effect on the society.

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