Youth Advocate tackles drug addiction with short film

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA–AS Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 2022 World Drug Day with a theme:”Addressing Drug Challenges In Health And Humanitarian Crises”, the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN, has expressed fears that the societal impact of COVID-19 could push more people into drug abuse.

This was as it noted that the COVID-19 pandemic was still a major global health crisis and its impact on drug challenges “is still not yet fully known.”

To this end, the association said:”More effort is seriously needed now more than ever before to drive home the dangers drug abuse and substance abuse pose on our society.”

“The analysis of the 2021 world drug report suggests that the pandemic has brought increasing economic hardship that is likely to make illicit drug cultivation more appealing to fragile rural communities,”the association said in a statement, Sunday, by its Abuja branch chairman, Pharm Hafsat Ismaila-Mamman.

Recall that June 26 of every year is marked globally as World Drug Day, to commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. It is a day on which individuals, entire communities and various organizations all over the world join in commemorating the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

The association said it was collaborating with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria,PSN, Abuja branch, to commemorate the day by sensitizing the general public with particular focus on the teenagers in secondary schools with the intention: “Prevention is better than cure”.

“AHAPN Abuja branch in collaboration with PSN Abuja branch calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with pharmacist and another health professional in the fight against drug and substance abuse.

“AHAPN Abuja branch for the past five years has taken it upon ourselves to participate in this global event through community enlightenment civic engagement, advocacy and collaboration,”the statement read.

It read further,”Açcording to the world drug report of 2021, the potency of cannabis in the last 24 years has increased by as much as four times and at the same time the percentage of adolescents who perceived the drugs as harmful fell by as much as 40% percent despite evidence that cannabis use is associated with a variety of health issues and other harms, especially among regular long term users.

“There is thus need to close the gap between perception and reality to educate young people and safeguard public health.

“This can only be done by continuous sensitization through community enlightenment campaigns.

“APAPN Abuja branch in the light of the above has decided to make its campaign against drug and substance abuse a continuous exercise and not just a one-day affair yearly by lunching an Anti-drug Abuse Club in secondary schools during this 2022 world day commemoration.

“Community staff school, Asokoro, Abuja has been chosen as a pilot to start this new club. We hope to spread membership of this club to other schools in the future.”

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