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UNODC and NDLEA to stop drug abuse

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By Mercy Kelani

NDLEA seizes drugs and arrests suspects in different Nigerian states.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a federal body, established by Decree No. 48 of 29th December, 1989. The decree was promulgated in strict response to the dominant trend of demand and traffic of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances which tarnished the international image of the federal republic of Nigeria and Nigerians in the 1980’s. Ever since, the trafficking of harmful illegal substances has become an organized criminal activity that ruins the security and development of the country, thereby, demanding a need for urgent intervention as a top priority from the government.

The mission of the agency is to put every resource at their disposal into effective use for the complete elimination of unlawful trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. This can be effectively carried out by shutting down the supply of harmful drugs and bringing the drugs suppliers to book. It can also be done by curbing the demand for illicit drugs and other abusive substances, tracing and recovering drug-related proceeds, through effective drug law enforcement. The purpose of NDLEA in Nigeria is to create, protect, and maintain a positive image for Nigeria and its citizens.

Hard drugs affect the brain and health of the human system.

Hard drugs are drugs that are used illegally, without a medical prescription, and could cause physical or psychological addiction and potentially, death. In many countries, including Nigeria, any creation, selling, or usage of drugs without approved medical purposes is considered illegal according to an established law. There are different classes of hard drugs, they include opioids like heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone (Oxycontin) and morphine; benzodiazepines, which include diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam; stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine (meth), cocaine, and nicotine. However, some drugs such as alcohol and nicotine are sold legally in many countries and are usually taxed.

Oftentimes, the usage of hard drugs leads to addiction or drug abuse, and brain disorder. Hard drugs affect the human brain and health. Some of these effects are long-lasting and permanent, and might still be visible in the body even after stopping the intake of the substance. There are many ways of drug intake such as injection, inhalation, and ingestion. Although the effects of hard drugs on the human body depend on the mode of intake, all misused drugs affect the brain causing large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for the regulation of emotion, motivation, and feeling of pleasure, to flood the brain and make them impaired (high).

NDLEA seizes drugs and arrests suspects in Imo and Kwara.

The Imo State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Imo Command, Mr. Reuben Apeh, attested to the seizure of 1,471kg of hard drugs in the state between July 2021 and June 2022. He also stated that 218 suspects were arrested, 171 males and 47 females. The seized drugs include cannabis sativa, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, tramadol, rohypnol, diazepam and others. It was also said that 30 of the drug users were counseled while nine underwent successful rehabilitation and got reunited with their families.

The Kwara State Commander, Mr Ibrahim Saidu, also mentioned that the agency has seized about 2,300kgs of drugs and arrested a total number of 415 suspects from July 2021 till date. The use of these hard substances has aggravated in violence, cultism, armed robbery, rape, fear, insecurity, among others. Drug peddlers in the country and their activities have increased to an alarming rate in the persons of youths and women. In response to this, intelligence-led operational activities are being conducted.

World Drug Day, the creation of drug awareness.

Mr. Apeh addressed the issue of drug abuse at the commemoration of the 2022 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, themed “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.” World Drug Day, organized by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC), is marked on the 26th of June of every year to create awareness, also to enable and boost cooperation in achieving a world that is free of drug abuse. Citizens are implored to work hand-in-hand with the anti-drug agencies to discourage youths and adults from drug abuse.


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