The Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Lagos State Chapter, in collaboration with Nigerian Green Crescent Health Development Initiative (GHI), have called the attention of Nigerians to the need of building strong family bonds in order to rid the society of the scourge of drug and behavioral addiction, especially among youths.
The groups made the remarks at a workshop they organised recently on ‘Addiction Prevention’.
Eminent medical practitioners present at the workshop held at the CIPM Conference Hall, Alausa Ikeja, Lagos, including Dr A. B. Awesu, consultant psychiatrist, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos; Dr Tajudeen Abiola, consultant psychiatrist, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, and Dr Ibrahim Oreagba, associate professor of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, University of Lagos, Dr Hafsat Adeshina, a public health practitioner and pharmacist, described addiction as an act of surrendering or enslaving oneself to something, such as drug or any other activity.
In his presentation on the topic “Family as Core Addiction Prevention Entity in Society”, Dr Ibrahim Oreagba, noted that parents are the strongest influence and role models of children in a family, noting that addiction is much less likely to happen if parents provide guidance and clear rules about addiction, spend time with children and ensure they lay good examples.
Speaking further, Oreagba, a member of the GHI, and national vice-president, IMAN, noted that some of the factors that predispose so many youths to addiction, especially drug addiction include: peer pressure, curiosity, ignorance, academic induced frustration, lack of parental care, indiscipline, lack of significant relationship with caring adult, lack of mutual attachment and nurture by parents and caregivers, among many others.
In his words,” Parents are the key role models in a family that everybody looks up to. You cannot tell a child not to drink, smoke or tell lies when parents do it, therefore, addiction prevention starts from the family, as family in conjunction with other families make a society.
Speaking in the same vein, Dr Tajudeen Abiola, and Dr (Mrs) Hafsat Adeshina, noted that the issue of drug addiction, especially family centered addiction had reached an alarming proportion in the country, adding that if care is not taken, the country is sitting on a keg of gun powder.
Other dignitaries at the awareness campaign include: Dr Mustapha Alimi, chairman, IMAN, Lagos State Chapter, and chief medical director, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos; Dr. Ibrahim Olajide Opeewe, consultant psychiatrist, Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, and director, AL-HILAAL Hospital, Abeokuta, Ogun State; Dr Habeeb Musa Muhammad; Mrs Shekinat Abdulfatai, financial secretary, IMAN, Lagos State; Pharm. Afusat Adeshina, among others.
Dr. Ibrahim Oreagba, delivering his speech.
A cross section of participants at the event.