By Evelyn Usman
The Nigeria Chapter of the International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals, ISSUP, has pledged its readiness to collaborate with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Federal Ministry of Health on drug control.
National President of ISSUP Nigeria, Dr. Martin Agwogie, made the pledge during a separate courtesy visit to the NDLEA office and the Ministry of Health.
He explained that such collaboration was necessary across board , for effective drug control , in order to ensure high quality, ethical policy and practice that could be implemented and shared nationally and internationally.
Highlighting the vision of ISSUP to include development of a multidisciplinary network of core and allied professionals and organisations in drug control, Agwogie. Continuing , he said our vision also include “professionalization of drug demand reduction through capacity building and certification; promoting evidence-based substance use prevention, treatment and recovery; support quality research and the introduction of addiction studies in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria among others.
He commended the agency’s Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), for “his commitment, passion and courage to make a positive change in the national drug control efforts, which he has demonstrated within a very short time of his assumption of office”.
Similarly, ISSUP commended the Ministry of Health for its efforts to regulate the production and sale of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small polythene.
In his response, Gen. Marwa described ISSUP as a pride to all and applauded its efforts to professionalise the field of drug demand reduction
According to Gen. Marwa, “everybody has a stake in ensuring a drug free Nigeria and should be given a platform to contribute”.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, charged ISSUP on substance use prevention which he noted had become a major challenge in the country, adding that efforts to prevent its use should take top priority to prevent development of substance use disorders and treatment.
He commended the association for its vision and gave assurance of the Ministry’s support. To receive the ISSUP team in the Ministry were the Minister of State for Health, Dr. (Sen.) Adeleke O. Mamora and some Directors.