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Senate urges FG to declare ‘State of Emergency’ on drug abuse in Nigeria

This resolution came after the unanimous adoption of a motion titled “Urgent need to address the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria” during the plenary session today.

The motion was presented by Senator Babangida Hussain (APC – Jigawa), who expressed grave concerns about the unprecedented level of drug abuse in the country.

Senator Hussain highlighted the gravity of the situation, pointing out that Nigeria had transitioned from being a transit country in the 1990s to a nation plagued by widespread drug addiction and trafficking.

He revealed staggering statistics: between 30 million and 35 million people in Nigeria spend approximately 15,000 to 30,000 dollars annually on psychotropic drugs and alcoholic beverages.

Citing data from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Union, Senator Hussain disclosed that approximately 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64 are drug users. He further elaborated that 10.6 million individuals were cannabis users, 4.6 million used pharmaceutical opioids, and 238,000 abused amphetamines.

The Senator emphasised the regional impact of this crisis, stating that in 2017, the prevalence of drug abuse varied across geopolitical zones. The North-West accounted for 12%, North-East 13.6%, North-Central 10.0%, South-West 22.4%, South-South 16.6%, and the South-East 13.8%.

The drugs commonly abused in Nigeria, Senator Hussain noted, included mood-altering or psychoactive drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, dependency drugs, and prescription drugs.

He outlined the severe consequences of drug abuse, including addiction, trauma, mental illness, and its association with ill health, violence, and criminal activities. Notably, a significant number of deaths from accidents and violent crimes have been attributed to individuals under the influence of drugs.

Expressing deep concern, Senator Hussain criticised the efficacy of the current efforts by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in curbing this crisis. He urged the inclusion of specialised drug education in the school curriculum to address the issue at its roots.

Senator Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno) echoed these concerns, emphasising the detrimental effects of drug abuse on the nation’s youth.

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