File: Results from the latest NOI Poll showed that 9 in 10 Nigerians believe the highest abusers of drugs and substance are teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 29 years old.It has also emerged true from this poll that the most abused substance in Nigeria is marijuana.
The Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA) has pledged to support the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) by rehabilitating 10 drug addicts free.
The Executive Director, VGADA, Dr Hope Omeiza, said this when he led his team on a courtesy visit to the NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that VGADA is a Non -Governmental Organisation that began operation since 2018 and owned a centre for rehabilitation of drug addicts.
NAN reports that “VGADA Detox Centre” which began operation on Feb. 4, 2022, is the treatment arm of VGADA with a 100-bed space capacity drug treatment and rehabilitation centre.
Omeiza said that the centre was a mental health facility designed to provide treatment for drug addiction, mental illnesses and psychological disorders.
He said that the activities of the organisation in the last five years include raising awareness against drug abuse and its consequences across all age groups.
Omeiza said the centre also developed research strategies in the prevention of drug abuse; policy advocacy; Youth, Girls/Women and all friendly platforms for prevention and treatment of drug abuse; and a robust post rehabilitation care.
“We have partnered with several ministries, departments and agencies on specific programmes and areas of interest. Our vision is to be a globally recognised one-stop-centre for all drug addiction and mental disorder treatments,” he said.
Omeiza said that the NDLEA, under the watch of Marwa, had recorded laudable achievements, adding that the visit was to officially familiarise with the NDLEA towards enhancing partnership.
“I humbly seek for official collaboration with the Agency on the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), activities toward drug demand reduction and treatment for sufferers of drug use disorder.
“I recall that the agency with the knowledge of the Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, has partnered with our organisation, VGADA DETOX CENTER, on a rescue mission of one (patient).
“This happened on December 24, 2022 and (the patient), who had his abode in an uncompleted building in one of the slum areas of Jahi, here in Abuja, was taken to our centre for proper care.
“We gathered that he worked as a fashion designer before he became mentally unstable following his use of drugs. As at today, he has spent about 5 weeks in our facility and is recuperating well, we hope to have him visit with us if given the opportunity,” he said.
The NGO boss seek to take out more drug addicts from the street in order to further aid advocacy and public awareness on the activities of the agency on drug demand reduction.
“That is why we have also decided to rehabilitate 10 persons with drug problems and other mental issues as our own way of supporting the good work of the agency.
“We do charge N400,000 per person which covers feeding, accommodations, medicals among others, until such person fully regains his or her consciousness,” he said.
Responding, Marwa commended the organisation for the good works they had been doing, saying that the fight against drug abuse was not for the NDLEA alone but a fight by all.
He assured VGADA that the NDLEA would partner with it to ensure drug abuse and trafficking were curbed to the barest minimum across the nation.
“I have known the good work you are doing before this meeting. We appreciate you. We need more hands on deck. We welcome the advocacy and equally the rehabilitation centre,” he said.
Highlight of the visit was the presentations of award of accomplishment to the NDLEA Chairman and presentation of gift items to VGADA team by the NDLEA.(NAN)
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