By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Kaduna State at the moment is said to be facing two pandemics; the COVID-19 and Drug Abuse.
Director General of Kaduna State Bureau for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, (KADBUSA), Dr. Joseph Maigari, made the assertion on Friday, June 26, 2020, when he received in his office a group,The Eye Opener Youth and Women Foundation, (TEO), during this year’s World Drug Free Day.
According to him substance abuse is at the centre of every violent crime in the society and must be given the attention it deserved, noting that reduction in prevance of drugs, will restore peace to the society.
Speaking on this year’s theme: “Better Knowledge for Better Care”, Dr. Maigari said the problem of drug abuse is being given the attention it deserved from tackling issues related to supply side of drugs alone, to arresting the demand side.
He added that it was on this strength that Governor Nasir El-Rufai established KADBUSA to arrest the demand side of drugs, which a combination of reduction on demand and supply will bring respite to the problems.
“Kaduna state is working on the demand side of drug abuse; preventing new cases and treating existing cases. We are working together with good spirited NGOs like TEO among others, and this we are sure will help reduce the demand of substance abuse in the state.
“From the survey the Agency conducted it showed a very high drug used prevalence about 10.9 per cent of Kaduna residents have substance abuse problem. This is not far from what the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes found 2 years ago that 10 per cent of Kaduna residents have substance abuse and drug problems.
“Nigeria has about 14.4 per cent. It is a big problem. So Kaduna is facing two pandemics at the moment: COVID-19 and Drug Abuse hence, we are calling on everyone to eschew the use of dangerous drugs, trafficking of dangerous drugs as this is detrimental to the society. We plead for their sense of reasoning to stop,” he said.
Dr. Maigari however warned those trafficking on illicit drugs in the state, “We will hunt them down and make them face the law. This warning comes strictly from the State Government to all those engaged in illicit trafficking of drugs. Kaduna state is no longer a place for them to carry out their nefarious and blood money trade,” he said.
He assured that his Agency will work closely with TEO and support it activities to ensure that KADBUSA’s mandate of addressing the problems of drug abuse in the state is achieved.
In her remarks, President/Founder of TEO, Mrs. Margaret Julius, said the Foundation discovered that a high per centage of youth were on drugs, hence it targeted the root causes of the problem, through creating awareness aimed to free them from the menace.
She said her group is a grassroot organization established to reach out to youth including women in various communities in the state, as drug abuse assumed a global pandemic.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world at the moment, if drug abuse is not properly tackled it could cause rapid spread of the virus in the society, especially when youth share drugs and needles.
“The Foundation is ready to partner Kaduna State Government in reaching out to youth to ensure the state is rid of this menace,” she reiterated.