#The establishment of stations to eradicate the threat in Oyo State is timely.
The drug problem is a global plague, affecting both developed and developing nations. Over the past decades, there have been global efforts in combating the physical, psychological and social-economic maladies associated with illicit drug use and trafficking.
Such efforts address the problem through supply suppression and demand reduction activities.
Supply suppression aims at reducing the availability of illicit and controlled drugs through various interdiction activities and legal processes. In Oyo State for example, the drug problem is seen as a criminal activity. Demand reduction programmes, on the other hand, focus on bringing about a decline in the consumption of these substances, as well as effective treatment, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug dependent persons. This aspect of the drug problem is addressed as a health issue and is not to be criminalised.
Successive Government in Oyo has put in place various Legislations against the abuse and trafficking in narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
At the National scene, Oyo has been a signatory to numerous bilateral and multilateral treaties as well as United Nations Conventions on Drug Control including the 1988 United Nations Convention against illicit traffic in Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
In the light of this, Oyo State Government has established rehabilitation centres to checkmate the alarming rate of drug abuse in the state.
This was in a statement made available to Newsmen and a copy of it made available to Oyovoice by Commissioner for Health Dr. Azeez Adeduntan during a chat with Officials of the NDLEA and relevant stakeholders at the Ministry of Health.
The meeting stemmed from the realisation that drug abuse is decaying in the state and can no longer be ignored.
The Commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in the state, Mrs. Omolade Faboyede noted an immediate action must be taken as Oyo accounts for about 40% of the total drug abuse data in Nigeria.
Her statement reads :
“Data for drug abuse in Oyo state is not cheering so we must now intensify advocacy in schools to instill good morals in pupils and educate them on the dangers of drug abuse right from primary school level”.
Reacting to the disturbing indices of abuse in the state, the Commissioner for Health said it was time to tackle the menace head on, as the government will have to step both preventive and rehabilitative means of reducing the scourge to the barest minimum.
Dr. Adeduntan added that ”six rehabilitation centres in all the geo political zones of the state will be established to treat addicts while we would step up on advocacy to prevent further spread of this problem.
“We cannot pretend it is not here”.
An inter-agency forum among all security agencies has also been sanctioned to wage an unrelenting war against drug abuse in the state.
Schools, religious bodies and social groups have also been asked to join in the fight to rid the state of illicit drug and its effects.