By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka- THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that female students in most Nigerian universities abuse hard drugs more than their male counterparts.
The spokesperson of Anambra State command of the agency, Mr. Charles Odigie who made the disclosure yesterday in Awka, described the situation as unfortunate, adding that it was a stark reality staring the society in the face.
Odigie, who spoke during a one-day symposium tagged ‘Curbing school dropout and drug abuse’, said from the command’s recent arrests of suspected drug offenders in the state, female students were majorly those who formed the bulk of the offenders and harped on the need for re-orientation.
Identifying ‘shisha’, a popular local hard drug consumed by youths using pipes, as the most widely abused drug by the female students, Odigie regretted the general high rate of drug abuse in tertiary institutions, saying it was an indication that students allowed themselves to be influenced in the school environment, where they had more freedom.
The high rate of the abuse, he further said, was due to the absence of school hostels on campuses, making it difficult to control students who abuse these substances.
He said: “Majority of students live off-campus in lodges where neither the landlords, nor caretakers, are there to control them. If they are to be within the school premises, the story would have been different.”
He also observed that the failure of parents to care and monitor their children’s activities in the tertiary institutions was one of the contributory factors to the high rate of social ills in the society and urged parents not to leave the training of their wards entirely to teachers alone.
He explained that NDLEA would continue to sensitize the public on the dangers of drug abuse and urged other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to strive towards the sensitization of the masses on the evils of drug abuse.