The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has raised an alarm over increasing number of drug addiction, calling on school administrators and parents to be proactive in order to curb the menace in the country.
Speaking at a 2-day National Summit on Menace of Drugs and Substances Abuse among the youth, the minister said Nigeria is estimated to have about 14.4per cent or 14.3 million people aged between 15 and 64 years who use drugs like cannabis, amphetamines, opioids, and cocaine at least once in the reporting 12-month period.
The minister, who was represented by the Medical Director Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, Professor Abdulkareem Yusuf, explained that, “the burden of drug-attributable diseases account for about 1.5 per cent of the global burden of disease.
According to him, around 9 per cent of the People Who Inject Drugs, PWID, in Nigeria are reported living with HIV.
“Parents, especially mothers and school authorities have fundamental roles to play, they must create time and seize opportunities to shape children under their watch, to be the kind of youths and adults they would want them to be.
“The harsh economic realities of our time cannot be an excuse for not accomplishing the divine responsibilities bestowed on us as parents or guidance in the form of school administrators,” the minister stated.