The Anambra State House of Assembly has called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to direct the Commissioners for Health, Information, Youths, Technology, Creative Economy and other relevant agencies to embark on a continuous sensitisation programme on the adverse effects of hard drugs.
The House made the call following a motion sponsored by the member representing Njikoka Two Constituency, Dr. Jude Akpua, and seconded by his Njikoka One Constiuency counterpart, Mr. Chidi Ibemeka, during plenary.
Speaker of the House, Right Honourable Somtochukwu Udeze, who presided over the plenary session, had moved for the resolution of the House on the matter, while the lawmakers unanimously adopted it through voice votes.
He advised that religious leaders, teachers and community leaders should be encouraged to assist in the sensitisation of the youths on the need to shun hard drugs.
Speaking on the motion, Dr. Akpua expressed worry that a recent report indicated that 14.4 percent of people between 15 and 64 years old abuse drugs in Nigeria.
He said the figure amounts to about 14.3 million people suffering from illicit drug disorder, and that one in four deaths occur as a result of illicit drug use.
“In fact, more deaths, illnesses and disabilities are associated with substance use disorder than any other preventable health condition,” Akpua explained.
The lawmaker equally expressed concern over the ugly trend mostly associated with the youths, saying that if left unchecked, it will lead to further breakdown of societal peace and tranquility; as a result of drug related or induced crimes.
“It will also increase the number of mentally deranged individuals in the state and deplete our human resources”, he stated.
Dr. Akpua however expressed optimism that concerted and coordinated efforts geared toward continuous sensitisation programmes on the negative effects of hard drugs to Ndi Anambra would go a long way to eradicate the menace and educate the people on the need to desist from the unhealthy practice.
He noted that the Act establishing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) mandated it to enforce laws against the cultivation, processing, sale, trafficking and use of hard drugs, and to empowered it to investigate persons suspected to have dealings in drug and other related matters.
“Aware that hard drugs are substances that are seen as more potent and toxic, both physically, mentally and highly addictive which are usually injectable, inhaled and ingested causing the most damages to organs and natural functions in the shortest amount of time,” he stressed.
Credit: Anastasia Agunwa/Chizoba Okeke/Gloria Abugu