Journalists under the aegis of Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria and security stakeholders have called for more collaborative efforts to check drug abuse amongst the youths.
They made the call in Lagos on Monday, during the 2022 International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking organised by CRAN, with the theme, ‘Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crisis.’
The President of CRAN, Mr Olalekan Olabulo, said the wave of drug addiction had tipped the nation into a boiling conundrum as the youths, especially students and pupils, now abuse drugs everywhere daily.
He said, “Most of them imbibe substances like cough syrups, Indian hemp and off-the-counter drugs like rophynol, tramadol, diazepam and lexotan, which are controlled drugs that should only be sold after a doctor’s prescription.
“The consequences has led to the prevailing cases of banditry, kidnapping, unwanted pregnancies, burglary, broken homes and an upsurge in crime.
“The crises has become worse, exacerbating into economic, social and physiological crisis, which if unchecked, portends grave danger to the society at large.”
Olabulor said CRAN’s stance in keying into the United Nations programme was to stem the underlying fact that drug abuse and human trafficking have become a horrifying menace that were tearing the fabrics of the society, with attendant effect on the youths.
The Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Lagos State Command, Mr Ayinde Aileru, said hard drugs was posing a great threat to the nation.
The commander, who was represented by the Assistant Commandant, Asset and Financial Investigations, Mr Oke Semai, said the youths must know the dangers involved in engaging in drugs.
He urged parents to watch out for some signs in their children, with a view to detect if they were into drugs or not.
“Some of the signs are withdrawal from friends, physical appearance, bloodshot eyes, poor performance at school, changes in physical appearance, sudden wearing of perfume, licking sweets among others.
“Drugs are any substance that get to your body and changes your thinking, behavior, they are controlled drugs and should not be taken without medical prescription,” Semai said.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos state, CP Abiodun Alabi, represented by the command’s spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said drugs intake was a major contributor to crime.
He said, “Taking drugs can get you mad, distabilise your future. Students should shun crimes, remain focus, so that you will not end in prison.
“Be careful, don’t try to engage in drugs, do not fall for peers pressure, when you start engaging in drugs, it will truncate your future and you will become a nonetity.
“When a minor or teenager commit a grievous offences, he or she will be jail in the juvenile prison except when it is a minor offences.”
An official of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Mr Taiwo Adeboyega, said that human traffickers take drugs to sexually abuse their victims.
“Sometimes, drugs are added to victims’ drinks to make them do what they don’t want to do.
“Some packaged drugs in their belongings and move them from one location or country to another,” he said.