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Stakeholders seek strong policies to end drug abuse

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Members of the Christian Bikers Association of Nigeria yesterday advocated strong policies to end drug abuse in the country.

The stakeholders from across eight states of the country, who met in Abuja, lamented that the Federal Government was yet to properly tackle drug abuse in the country.

Leader of the group, Akinfe Samuel Babatunde, said unless government and other players urgently address the trend, the country would face the consequences of the challenge.

He also said that the recent ban of codeine syrup in the country was not properly planned, adding that it was not the solution to the prevailing situation.

Babatunde said the association has concluded plans to partner other bodies to ensure that proactive measures are taken to solve the challenges.

He said it was worrisome that regulatory agencies, which are expected to step up effort against the situation, were supporting the ban for their personal gains.

He called for awareness and continuous education, especially in higher institutions, to discourage youths from addiction to drugs.

He pledged that the group would sustain the fight against drug abuse, and ensure that the country strengthens its scope of intelligence gathering.

He said this was necessary against the backdrop of a myopic view that bikers are drug abusers.

A medical expert, who is member of the association, David Adekola, linked the growing cases of drug abuse to poverty.

He urged government to find measures to deal with the root causes of drug abuse.

Adekola also enjoined government to monitor activities of the pharmaceutical industry, stressing that most of the drugs that that are not sold across the counter are finding their ways to the streets and motor parks.

On the ban of codeine, he said: “That reaction was not well thought of. The issue is not to ban codeine, but to make it non accessible.

“It is not about banning, it’s about law enforcement. There must be proper regulation of pharmaceutical companies.”

Adekola, who specialises in addictive medicine, disclosed that over 24.5 per cent of Nigeria youths are already victims of drug abuse.


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