• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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1 in 4 substance abusers, a woman – NDLEA

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says one out of every four users of illicit in Nigeria drugs is a woman.

Daniel Onyishi, commander of the NDLEA gave the statistics at the inauguration of ‘Operation Clean Anambra of Substance Abuse by Healthy Living’, an initiative of Nonye Soludo, the wife of the Anambra State governor, in Awka, on Thursday.

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Onyishi said that the agency was working with the governor’s wife to address the growing drug abuse cases in the state.

“According to recent statistics, Nigeria alone has 14. 4 percent drug abuse prevalence rate and it is projected that by 2030, it will rise to 40 percent if nothing is done.

“The major concern is that women, especially young girls, are embracing substance abuse. One out of every four drug abusers is a woman and one out of five will suffer substance abuse disorder.

“Women are key nurturers, moulders and caregivers in society and should not be involved in illicit drug abuse.

“As an agency, we are taking the sensitisation and enforcement into the communities because the grassroots campaign is the only way to address the menace of drug abuse.

“We are not spirits; therefore, we urge community leaders to give us information about drug dealers in their environment. Illicit drug dealing is a crime and not a business,” he said.

In her address, Nonye Soludo lamented that substance abuse had become a pandemic in society, requiring collective effort to tackle.

Soludo said that the menace of illicit drug abuse contributed to the high rate of crimes, violence and health complications.

“Healthy living initiative is championing this fight in schools and communities to break the wall of illicit drugs economy which is booming at the detriment of our society.

“We have constituted Healthy Living Overwatch in the 179 communities to monitor illicit drug dealers and report same to security agencies.

“The target is to make everyone a driver of the solution to rid Anambra of this deadly disease called drug abuse and save the lives and future of our children,” Soludo said.

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Also speaking, Afam Obidike, health commissioner, said that the campaign would save the youths from degenerating into a generational tragedy with drug addiction.

Also, Titus Akpudo, president-general, Anambra State Association of Town Union, promised to take the message of substance abuse to the nooks and crannies of the state.

“As community leaders, we must support the Governor’s Wife in the fight to eliminate substance abuse in our communities because if we do not act now, it will hunt us in future,” he said.