In an attempt to check and raise awareness on the menace of drug abuse and other substances by Nigerian youth, the Senate has concluded plans to hold a roundtable to discuss the way forward.
The Senate’s roundtable will hold on Monday and Tuesday in Kano state and will have in attendance state governments, local governments, traditional rulers, the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria and NGOs.
The aim of the round table is to tackle the rising spate of drug and substance abuse by youths including girls and to end its prevalence in the northern part of the country.
The National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had once said that Kano state has the highest number of youths engaged in drugs and substance abuse followed by Jigawa state.
In recognition of the destructive effect of the high spate of drug abuse in Kano state, President Muhammadu Buhari while on a working visit to the state recently, ordered a crackdown on drug barons in the country.
The senate while taking a resolution against drug abuse in October, raised the alarm that about 3 million bottles of an addictive cough syrup with “codeine” was being consumed in the North.
Consequently, the Senate mandated it’s Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health to investigate the growing menace of abuse of cough syrup and other prescriptive drugs.
In view of the mandate, the Senate brings together stakeholders to the roundtable to discuss the drivers of drug abuse in Nigeria, identify the psycho-social and medical impact of the phenomenon, assess current responses, legislative gaps and opportunities for action.
The expected outcomes of the Roundtable include: gaining a better understanding of drug use, prevalence, trends and patterns in Nigeria; understanding the current government and Civil Society capacity and efforts towards addressing drug abuse and related issues; gain insight into legislative, policy gaps and develop an Action Plan for interventions by the National Assembly and other stakeholders.