The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State branch, has called the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria, to the need to create rehabilitation centres, across the six geo-political zones of the country, to enhance the effective resolution of the drug abuse in the country.
The Chairperson, Lagos PSN, Pharm. (Mrs) Bolanle Adeniran, made this remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pharmacy Week of the state branch, held at the M2 Arena Event Centre, Ogudu, Lagos, on 15 August, 2018.
According to her, the war against drug abuse and misuse cannot be said to be won without the establishment of rehabilitation centres for drug addicts, as they require a long process to fully recover.
e said: “Once you identify drug addicts that are ready to come out of it, then they have to be taken to a rehabilitation centre, because they cannot come out of it all by themselves. If anybody tells you I was once an addict and came out of it on my own it is a lie, he has to be rehabilitated and he will be helped. Like somebody said which is true, once you are an addict, it will only take the grace of God and self-will for you not to go back.
“Even when you have been rehabilitated, you just seeing a white powder alone is enough to trigger that instinct but you need a strong self-will and continuous counseling for you not to go back.
“So, we are asking that the government should create rehabilitation centres all over the country in the six geo-political zones, so that there will be a place where we can take these people to where they have respite. There are so many of them on the streets and there is nobody taking care of them”.
Speaking on the theme of the conference: “Drug Abuse and Misuse: Threat to National Development”, the keynote speaker, Professor Oluwatoyin Odeku , dean, Faculty of Pharmacy , University of Ibadan, stressed the need for national strategy involving government agencies, pharmaceutical industry, medical organisations, community groups, and other entities in the country.
The UI Dean, who highlighted the various problems associated with drug abuse and misuse, asserted that if no urgency steps are taken to stem the tide, the Sustainable Development Goals of – No poverty; Zero hunger; Good health; Quality education; Clean Water and Sanitation; Employment; Peace and justice; and Strong institution, might not be achievable in the country.
She listed the health challenges caused by drug abuse and misuse to include: Weakness of immune system, collapsed veins and infections of blood vessels and heart valves, organs failure, nausea, vomiting, seizures and widespread brain damage, increased sexually transmitted diseases, emotional crises, and so on.
Going forward in winning the war against drug abuse and misuse, the don urged all stakeholders to be actively involved, as it is only a united healthcare team that can bring down the hydra-headed monster.
She said: “Pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners must watch out for prescription falsification or alteration, track opiod, embrace moral and ethical practices, embark on massive advocacy, public enlightenment, pruning of import license for controlled substances, and implementation of National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) must be consider as priority”.