The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it is committed to clamping down on the consumption of methamphetamine, popularly known as mkpurummiri, noting that the consequences on mental health are worrisome to the society.

Mr Isah Adoro, Commander of NDLEA, Ebonyi Command, made the remarks during a one-day security sensitisation campaign, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Tuesday in Abakaliki.

The programme is tagged, “the Implementation of National Security Sensitisation and Re-orientation Programme against Political Thuggery, Kidnapping, Drug Addiction, Radicalisation and Violent Extremism.”

Adoro, represented by Mr Owunwa Ibezim, Assistant Commander, Training, NDLEA in the state, said the Agency decried the consequences mkpurumiri has on mental health of people, especially the youths, who are the leaders of tomorrow.

He noted that mkpurummiri is a very dangerous illicit drug, adding that the addiction is hard to treat because it has no cure.

“Drug abuse should not be treated as political issues but socio-economical issue. The use of mkpurummiri is already banned in Ebonyi; we call on the public to join the campaign train to overcome the intake of such drugs,” Adoro stated.

Dr Garba Abari, Director-Generel of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), represented by Dr Desmond Onwo, the Agency’s Coordinator in Ebonyi, said the sensitisation campaign is to educate drug users on the danger of it has on the body.

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According to Abari, drug abuse refers to the non-medical use of mind-altering or addiction substance in the socially inappropriate or harmful ways.

He described drug as major cause of the increase in crime rate in the society and urged the general public to desist from the abuse as well the intake.

“Drugs are often associated with virtually all antisocial behaviours bedeviling the the country.

“It is the enemy and the trigger, which pushes people into crime such as: banditry, kidnapping, rape, gender-based violence, wantom killings and destruction of public assets amongst others,” he said.

The Director-General noted that the intake of hard drugs and abuse are impacting negatively on the national quest for rapid national development as many youths, who are the engine of growth for any nation, have continued to embrace.

“According to a survey conducted by the United Nation Office on Drugs and crimes (UNODC) in 2018, an estimated 14.4 per cent or 14.3 million people, aged 15 to 64 years, have used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes.

“This confirmed that the incidence of drug abuse in Nigeria is not only prevalent but disturbing and alarming,” he added.

Mr Aliyu Garba, Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, commended the NOA on the sensitisation campaign and urged the youth to steer clear of criminality.

Garba, represented by Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr Chinaka Eric, also added that the intake of hard drugs is responsible for the increase on crime rate.

“To fight crime, we must tackle the unemployment and corruption among the people,” he said.

(NAN)

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