Young people not into drugs need more attention –Group


Grace Edema

National President of the International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals, Nigeria Chapter, Dr. Martin Agwogie, has said more attention should be paid to the 86 per cent of young Nigerians who have yet to start using drugs.

Agwogie, said this as a guest speaker at the 2022 Commemoration of the 2022 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The event which took place in Abuja was titled, ‘Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises: Settings in need of care for a comprehensive drug use prevention in Nigeria.’

He said, ‘‘While attention is being paid to the 14 per cent of the population between the ages 15 and 64 years who use drugs, particular focus should be on the 86 per cent and the younger ones who have not started to use drugs by examining crisis areas in their lives that constitute risk factors for drug or substance use. 

“We must, as a deliberate and collective responsibility identify crisis within the society that serves as risk factors for drug use. Whenever we care for people in crisis, we are helping to prevent drug use and abuse, but when we fail to care for those in crisis, we are contributing to the risk of drug use. Care for all, particularly those in a crises situation.’’

He recommended that awareness and commitment related to the risk of substance use among victims of humanitarian crisis should be strengthened.

Agwogie revealed that Nigeria was experiencing crises in different areas, which were fuelling drug use/abuse. He advised that urgent attention or care should be adopted as part of prevention strategies and policy direction.

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