Legal Advocacy Response to Drug Initiative (LARDI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has urged Nigerians to shun drug abuse and other forms of social vices.
The Secretary of the group, Mr. Emeka Nwadioke, who told NAN in Abuja on Wednesday, commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for its effort in tackling the menace of drugs in the country.
Nwadioke said drug abuse had spread to different parts of the society, adding that it has become serious a social problem to the abuser and society.
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He said that the development had attracted the attention of government and international organisations which had embarked on several policies and programmes to curb the menace.
“Drug dependency is an increasing problem that cuts across every national, ethnic, religious, gender and socio-economic divide.
“It carries devastating social and economic consequences through its impacts on health, functioning, and overall well-being.
“The fight against drug abuse is coordinated by the NDLEA through public enlightenment, seizure, arrest, and prosecution of offenders, but the NGOs like LARDI needs to support more and that is what we are doing,“ he said.
According to Nwadioke, in a period of less than a year, at least 13 persons, mostly females, had gone mad under the influence of drug abuse in the country.
“The new dimension in drug abuse these days are heroin and cocaine as well as some traditional toxic,” he said.
Nwadioke said that drugs being taken in “localised forms” included lizard dung, steam from pit latrines and gutters.
“This is in addition to the rampant use of cough syrup with codeine and rubber solution glue,” he said.
He charged families, schools, religious and traditional leaders to intensify their efforts in inculcating and molding the characters of young ones.
“Just as our job implies, we have helped a lot of drug addicts and those who are about to indulge in the act get out of drugs and we would not relent.
“As lawyers, we would continue to ensure drug dependants get the necessary attention, get rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society,” he said.
Nwadioke urged the government, civil society organisations, and individuals, to get involved in the activities that prevent people from falling into the habit.