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Stakeholders advocate strong policies to end drug abuse

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Say Ban On Codeine Not Solution
Stakeholders, yesterday, converged in Abuja from over eight states across the country to demand an end to drug abuse.

The stakeholders, who are all bikers under the umbrella of Christian Bikers Association of Nigeria, insisted that Federal Government is yet to find a sustainable solution, especially in terms of policy formulation that would tackle rising drug abuse in the country.

They stressed that the recent ban on codeine was not properly planned and never the solution to the prevailing situation.

At a press conference, Akinfe Samuel Babatunde, who led the group said unless government and other players urgently address the trend, the country would soon face the consequences.

Babatunde, who said the association had concluded plans to partner other associations to strengthen the campaign to ensure that proactive measures are taken, noted that regulatory agencies expected to step up effort against the situation were supporting the situation for personal gains.

He explained that there was need for awareness and continuous education, especially in higher institutions to discourage youths from getting addicted to drug.

A medical expert, David Adekola, who is also a member of the association, linked rising drug abuse to poverty, adding that government must find measures to deal with the root causes of the problem.

On the ban of codeine, he said: “The issue is not to ban codeine, but to make it inaccessible. You can ban it and still find it on the street. It is not about banning, it’s about law enforcement. There must be proper regulation of pharmaceutical companies.”

Adekola, who specialises in addictive medicine, said over 24.5 per cent of Nigerian youths are already victims of drug abuse.


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