Poised to reduce the menace of drug abuse and misuse in the country, members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State Branch, have taken to the streets of Lagos to sensitise residents on the need to desist from drug abuse and misuse, which has wrecked a lot of lives and resources in the country.
The drug abuse awareness walk tagged “No to Drug Abuse and Misuse”, marked the commencement of the 2018 Pharmacy Week, which will hold from 13 to 18 August, 2018, with different activities, from the various technical arms of the association.
Speaking with the Chairperson of the Lagos PSN, Pharm. Bolanle Adeniran, she said the whole essence of the 2018 Pharmacy week, is to sensitise the public on the dangers inherent in drug misuse and abuse, ”we want to take the sensitisation, information, and education, to the people, and that is why we are on the street”.
She decried the increase in substance abuse in the country, saying pharmacists cannot sit down and fold their hands, pretending that all is well, whereas so many lives have gone down the drain due to drug abuse and misuse. “Since it takes someone to starts something, we pharmacists in Lagos, want to tell the residents of the state to desist from abusing drugs and substances. You don’t take drugs that are not prescribed for you, and when it is prescribed, you have to adhere by the prescriptions.
“I believe that the more we sensitise the people about drug abuse, the more they will appreciate that they just have to stop the habit. We wouldn’t say because we have been on the campaign for so long and it is not achieving the desired result, we would stop; this wouldn’t augur well with the society. So we will continue to preach the message against drug abuse, hoping that soonest, we will be rid of the menace”.
In his own contribution, Pharm Kola Sumonu, Lagos PSN publicity secretary, charged the government to rise to its responsibility of equipping relevant agencies and parastatals with required tools to function effectively, in relation to curbing activities of drug abusers.
According to him: “Lagos State has the highest number of pharmacies in the country, but if you get to PCN office in Yaba, hardly can you find three functional vehicles for enforcement and regulation. This is where the government needs to intervene, by equipping and empowering regulatory agencies for optimum performance of their duties”, he said.
For Pharm. Rosemary Nikoro, secretary, Board of Fellows of the PSN, “There is gradual access to information on drug abuse and misuse in the country, and people are beginning to be very much aware, of substance abuse, drug abuse in relation to prescription overdose.
“Pharmacists are Nigerians’, so we have taken it from a professional point, so we expect individuals, organisations, and churches to take on the crusade from there. It behoves on each an every one of us, to play a responsible role in the campaign against drug abuse.
Another member of the association, Pharm. Shakirat Adeosun, assistant director, pharmaceutical services, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, bared her views on the awareness campaign, saying “as the custodians of drugs, it is our duty to inform the public about the dangers of this menace, and we hope that at the end of the day, with this kind of massive campaign, we would have brought the information closer to the people, and we would be able to reduce this menace in our society.