NAFDAC DG cautions youths on drug, substance abuse
The Director-General (DG) National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Christiana Adeyeye, has cautioned Nigerian youths to avoid substance and drug abuse.
She explained that substance and drug abuse pose dangers of mental health problems, depression, conduct problems, personality disorders, including committing suicide, among other risks involved on abusers.
The DG, who was represented by NAFDAC’s Director of Drug Evaluation and Research, Ijoma Nwankwor, stated this in Lagos, at the launch of the 2021 yearly report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), report and precursors report.
Adeyeye stated that in 1961, the single convention on narcotic drugs was endorsed by the United Nations member states to ensure access to analgesics intended to relieve pain and suffering while making adequate provisions to prevent diversion and abuse. The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafficking on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 was adopted to deal with the world drug problem. The three international drug control conventions enjoy near-universal adherence and Governments reiterated commitment to their implementation at the 2016 special session of the UN General Assembly and in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
In the recent past, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted global supply chain mechanisms, impeding the availability of essential medicines. Similarly, these same factors also increased economic deprivation and feelings of social isolation, which are factors that can contribute to increased drug use.
She said: “Although controlled medicines are indispensable in the treatment of pain and are central to achieving universal health coverage, they can be used in ways that are not appropriate and cause dependence. According to the 2018 National Drug Use Survey, the prevalence of any drug use was 14.4 per cent or 14.3 million people between the age of 15 and 64 years.
“This is comparatively high compared with the 2016 global annual prevalence of 5.6 per cent among the adult population. The challenges arising from drug supply and consumption are not restricted to people who use drugs but have wider health, social and economic consequences on the family, community, and country.
Adeyeye stated that the report was a result-based blueprint for coordinating interventions against illicit drug use, trafficking and other related organised crime in Nigeria.
“While it is a treaty obligation to ensure availability and access to controlled medicines for COVID-19 and other medical needs, effective measures must be taken to address drug-related problems in compliance with international human rights standards and norms.
“There is no doubt that the issues concerning diversion and drug use require the deployment of measures to secure and strengthen the supply chain. Effective surveillance and continuous monitoring are necessary to detect diversion in real-time,” Adeyeye said.
She said NAFDAC also engage in warehouse inspection to ensure satisfactory storage and inventory control, deployment of the reviewed Inventory keeping tools, including targeted drug demand reduction (DDR) by carrying out drug abuse awareness and sensitisation campaigns in schools, marketplaces, religious organizations among others.
Adeyeye noted that NAFDAC collaborated with National Drug Law Enforcement Agent (NDLEA), Non-governmental and Civil Society Organisations in drug demand reduction activities.
The pharmacist explained that the report that was presented gives insight into the global situation with regards to controlled medicines and provides effective strategies to managing our healthcare services as well as drug use situations. It is in recognition of this that NAFDAC is hosting this national launch of the report.
“We appreciate you all for your support to NAFDAC and Nigeria in general. We have aligned our activities to our quality policy and shall continue to build upon the synergy that exists amongst us to identify, disrupt and dismantle organised criminal groups operating across jurisdictions.
“I wish to all other partners who have supported our efforts at ensuring availability and access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing diversion, to illicit channels and non-medical use,” Adeyeye said.