Yuletide: NDLEA Boss Warns Against Drug Abuse
The Chief Executive, of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd) has highlighted the dangers of drug abuse during holiday season calling on members of the public to celebrate safely.
More people are likely to drink beyond their limits or try other drugs in search of intoxication than other times of the year.
Abdallah gave the advice as commanders of the agency conclude a summit in Jos, Plateau State with the theme, “Change Begins with Me: Repositioning NDLEA for Effective and Efficient Performance Towards A Drug-Free Nigeria.”
People, who use drugs, put themselves and others at risk usually through drug induced road accidents, unprotected sex, increase criminality and violence, loss of family members and other environmental impact.
“Availability of free drinks may also influence more people to indulge in a binge. Drug use could degenerate from mild to severe impairment and life threatening condition. There is also the problem of people recovering from drug use relapsing during the festive season. It is important therefore to celebrate safely without drugs this season” the NDLEA boss stated.
He said that people who have problem with drug use must not be discriminated against, as they are like other patients suffering from ailments like headache, fever, back pain to mention a few.
The agency promised quality and affordable counselling and rehabilitation services but it however called on family members to show love and care to affected loved ones with drug abuse problem, adding that apart from illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and cannabis, the abuse of legally acceptable drugs like alcohol, cigarettes, cough syrup with codeine, fuel and inhalants also received priority attention at the summit.
“Abuse of unconventional substances has been widely reported especially in the northern parts of the country. Although the chemical substances found in inhalants may produce various pharmacological effects, most inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication, with initial excitement followed by drowsiness, dis-inhibition, light-headedness, and agitation. If sufficient amounts are inhaled, most solvents and gases produce anesthesia and can lead to unconsciousness” Abdallah stated.
The agency urged members of the public to monitor their children and family members to identify abuse of drugs and substances.
Families were also encouraged to engage in drug abuse counselling to prevent people from experimenting with drugs, stressing that the link between drugs and crime was equally re-echoed at the summit with commanders pledging to work harder in the days ahead to prevent illicit drug production, cultivation, trafficking and abuse.
“Most criminal acts are perpetrated under the influence of drugs and to reverse this trend we must adopt strategies to eradicate drugs from our society. I am optimistic that everyone will leave this summit as change agents, adequately informed to drive the transformation agenda of the present administration. Commanders will be better informed with latest success strategies in drug control. They will also be motivated through enhanced service delivery through the peer review platform provided by the summit” he added.
Abdallah promised to eliminate the problems of poor funding, irregular promotions and poor welfare among others.
“I am not unmindful of the numerous challenges facing the agency such as poor funding, poor infrastructure and inadequate logistics and poor welfare for officers. Nevertheless, I am determined to eliminate these cankerworms and steer the Agency on the path of efficiency and effectiveness. Efforts are currently at advanced stage in sourcing for funds to clear outstanding allowances, regularise promotion exercise and relocate the national headquarters of the Agency to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja” the Chairman promised.
Speaking on the NDLEA of his dream, Abdallah said that “My vision is to create a platform for officers of the agency to be adequately trained, well kitted and highly motivated for excellent performance. I envision an agency that will be highly proactive and intelligence driven. An agency that is committed to the dismantling of drug syndicates and the provision of best treatment and rehabilitation services to problem drug users.”