Rehab centre tasks NDLEA on measures to curb drug abuse
Chief Nursing Officer of the Centre, Mrs. Mariam Ibrahim, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna, yesterday.
The advice came just as the Agency, yesterday, reiterated its advise to Nigerians to shun drug abuse, which it described as social problem of serious consequences to the abuser and society.
The Principal Staff Officer (Drug Demand Reduction) in Zamfara State Command, Ladan Hashimu, gave the advice while speaking to newsmen in Gusau.
Ibrahim said cough syrup and Indian hemp were among the highly abused drugs in the state by the youths, saying: “It is becoming a huge social and health menace among youths in the state. The burden is not only on the person affected, but also on their relatives and the society at large.
“We keep on having pressure on our limited capacity because our facility can only keep 40 inmates at a time. We have the capacity to keep only 20 inmates in the first instance for observation for 60 days, and another 60 days is for the rehabilitation of the patients.”
According to her, the centre declined over 500 admission requests of substance-abused patients last year because it did not have enough facility to keep and cater for them.
“Our huge challenge is that we are constrained to admit female patients as a result of dearth of infrastructure. We cannot be tempted to put males and females in the same room. If we dare try it, the consequence will be rape. We cannot try it, no matter the pressure from parents and guardians,” she said.
She said one of the major causes of substance abuse in children and wards was peer group influence and called on parents to keep tab on their children to know who their friends were and where they usually went.
“I also want to emphasise here that once you see your ward carrying rubber container of any brand of soft drink seize it from him or her if is becoming a habit.
“What is usually inside is a substance and not the soft drink; the soft drink container is actually a camouflage to deceive gullible parents,” she said.
Ibrahim advised every stakeholder to rise up to the challenge and save the youth by giving information that would curb the menace.
Hashimu, on his part, said drug abuse had regrettably spread to the different strata of society, noting that the development had attracted the attention of government and international organisations, who have embarked on several policies and programmes to curb the menace.
According to Hashimu, in less than one year, at least 13 persons, mostly females, had gone mad under the influence of drug abuse in the state.