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Women’s involvement in drug abuse rising, says report


Drug abuse

A report released by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has indicated an increasing number of women involvement in drug abuse. The yearly report released this week also showed an alarming increase in the number of women arrested for drug related crimes throughout the world.

The report entitled “Women and drugs,” condemned the extra-judicial targeting of people suspected of illicit drug related activity. It also called on countries to abolish the death penalty for drug related offences. According to the report, women and girls comprise one third of global drug users, with levels of drug use higher among women in high-income countries.

However, stakeholders have called for gender sensitive drug policies and programmes as well as better healthcare access for drug dependent women and more funding to prevent and treat drug abuse among women.

INCB President, Werner Sipp, in his message said there is urgent need to change perceptions and remind people, particularly policymakers of the importance of protecting the rights of women who use drugs or who have committed drug related offences and the rights of their families.

Project coordinator, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Nigeria, Mr. Glen Pritchard, who revealed the report at National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), office in Lagos noted the high prevalence among female injective, saying it is now five times higher than males in Nigeria. Decrying the lack of national drug use survey in the country, he called for a draft national policy for controlled medicines.

In her presentation, Project officer of UNODC, Nigeria, Ms. Harsheth Virk called for more budget allocations, since Nigeria like other West African countries has moved from a drug transit country to drug using country, which is of grievous concerns. The Acting Director- General National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr. Yetunde Oni said the agency has carried out a number of education and awareness campaigns to discourage initial use and strengthen resistance against drug abuse.

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