Pharmacists’ Council advises Nigerian youths against drug abuse

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In ensuring that the young population fulfill their potential, add value to economy, contribute to national development, and safeguard the wellbeing of other Nigerians, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has urged the country’s youths to desist from indiscriminate use of drugs.

Dr. Elijah Mohammed, Registrar of PCN, urged the Nigerian youths at the advocacy workshop on “Say No to Illicit Drugs” Friday, August 28, among the youth in Bayelsa State.

The Pharmacists’ Council organised the workshop in collaboration with Sen. Diri Duoye, Governor of Bayelsa State, says agency report.

The PCN Registrar noted that every nation’s workforce consisted predominantly of both the young people in their prime and the middle-aged.

The Registrar said that the goal of the workshop was to explore and promote economic development potential among the Nigerian youth.

He said the platform would help the target audience to understand and appreciate the fact that it is profitable to live a healthy lifestyle without necessarily engaging in the indiscriminate use of illicit substances.

Dr. Mohammed said that the contributions of these groups to national development could not be over-emphasised in view of the various inputs that the category of people adds to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said: “It is, also a known fact that controlled medicines, such as narcotic drugs, have two different potential.

“The potential to be used for medical and scientific purposes, and also to be diverted to illicit channels for trafficking and abuse, which in effect could jeopardise the wellbeing of the populace.

“Curiosity and peer pressure are major reasons people, especially school children and young adults, embark on non-medical drug use.”

The platform would serve as a vehicle to further achieve the key objectives of providing a platform of interaction to increase awareness on the subject matter.

Such a forum would discourage indiscriminate use of medicines and other substances of abuse among the populace especially the youth, he said.

According to Mohammed, based on the 2019 World Drug Report (WDR), in 2017 an estimated 271 million people, or 5.5 percent of the global population aged 15 to 64 had used drugs in the previous year.

He also acknowledged that the Drug Use in Nigeria Survey report released January 2019 was the first ever comprehensive, nationwide survey that examined the extent and patterns of drug use in the country.

Based on the report the drug use prevalence in Nigeria is 14.4 per cent or 14.3 million people between the ages of 15 to 64 years, he stated.

The PCN Registrar further said: “This is comparatively higher when compared to global prevalence rate of 5.5 per cent as per World Drug Report 2019.

“The highest used drug in Nigeria is cannabis (10.6 million) followed by opioids (4.6 million), while non-medical use of prescription opioids and cough syrups is (2.4 million).”

He noted that prior to the Drug Use Survey by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Nigeria, PCN proposed to the ministry of health to constitute a multi-ministerial, multi-agency and multi-sectoral committee on drug use.

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