The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned youths, market women and drivers against inappropriate use of drugs in order to safeguard their future.
Speaking at an anti-drug abuse campaign organised to sensitise the public at Surulere Local Council in Lagos State, the representative of the Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Christiana Obiazikwor, noted with worries the high rate of abuse of codeine, containing cough syrup, saying the practice is not just a social menace but life-threatening one.
According to her, the abuse of codeine containing cough syrup has become more worrisome because statistics have shown it is rampant among the youths, advising them to desist from the act to avoid the negative effect.
While stressing the dangers of drug abuse, she stated that an individual involved in drug abuse suffers a syndrome, which predisposed victims to prefer drug use to food or other basic necessities of life.
The victims of such abuse, she said, are deprived of nourishment and essential nutrients that should boost their immune systems causing loss of immunity and retarded growth.
She said: “The victims exhibit increased and uninhibited sexual behaviour, runs the risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) Including HIV infection and subsequent spread of AIDS, while uninhibited sexual behaviour may also result to unplanned parenthood with its attendant problems”.
According to her, the victims’ inability to make rational decision causes them to join secret cults, which further encourage drug abuse.
The NAFDAC representative further linked violence conduct, lack of tolerance, impaired intelligence, and loss of concentration, severe depression, suicide attack and penchant to commit murder as exhibited by cult members to drug abuse.
She also expressed worries that young people who abuse drugs record high level of absenteeism and often drop out of school in frustration.
She said: “The abusers often end up as miscreants, societal burdens and bring utter disgrace to their families. Most of these youths are involved in avoidable accidents, which could lead to deformity or death’’.
Mrs. Obiazikwor, however, advised drivers and other road users to desist from abusing drugs, noting that drug abuse can lead to over speeding, drowsiness, tendency to fidget, and accidents that may lead to loss of valuable life.
NAFDAC, she said , will continue to fulfill its mandate by assuring the quality, safety, efficacy, and rational use of drugs and other regulated products through issuance of permit/Authorization to import and conduction of inspection visits to ensure that the use of controlled substances are limited to medical scientific purposes.