By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Kaduna State Chapter has decried the high rate of drug abuse among youths in Nigeria and Kaduna State and called for proactive measures to stem the ugly tide.
The Chairman of the Society, Pharmacist Aisha Ishaku Tukur made this known to newsmen shortly after the 35 kilometers trek awareness and sensitization rally on the dangers and effects of drug abuse among youths in the State in Kaduna on Saturday.
She informed that the rally was part of activities marking the World Pharmacy Day with the theme: “Drug Abuse” was basically to appeal to the consciousness of those who engages in indiscriminate use of drugs to patronize pharmacist and ensure that drugs are used according to prescriptions.
“We are here to celebrate the World Pharmacy Day which was supposed to be celebrated on Monday, the 25th of September but being that Monday is a working day, we choose to come out today Saturday which is a weekend and even chose Kaduna Central market as our target, because we want to sensitized them on the dangers of drug abuse. That is actually out mission today”.
“The major challenge as you heard me saying earlier, is drugs readily accessible in the state, you find out in Kaduna State that, anybody comes and sell drugs both expired and fake ones, that is why we come to educate the public of the dangers of buying drugs outside the pharmacy store.
“You can see that all the young men that indulge in Sara-Suka are into drugs, they are normally not in their sensing, so l thinks it is high time for all to rise up and fight this dangerous menace of drug abuse.
“That is why we pick drug abuse as our Theme for this year. We have talk to the traditional leaders, the government official and the National Drug Law Enforce Agency so that they will know that we have a very serious problem in the state”.
“We organized talks in primary and secondary schools which is where all the drugs abuse starts and any form of gathering to sensitize them to ensure we make an impact on them”.
Pharmacist Ishaku empathized that Kaduna State has the highest burden of drug abuse in North West. “That is why decided to come to the market where we can see people, sensitized and advise them on vices and difference effects on drugs abuse”.
The State Chairman however identified that indiscriminate drug use and abuse could result to brain damage, liver damage, hypertension, excessive heart beat among several other effects.
Pharm Aisha Ishaku Tukur appeal to them to avoid purchase of drugs being hawked around in the open and unprescribed drugs by unqualified practitioners.
She charged the State government to ensure serious penalty is taken on the drug peddlers, “l do not mind if it is life sentences because they are killing our youths with fake and expired drugs, she lamented”.
“This is also that the State Government will be aware of the challenges and how people are dying due to lack of knowledge on how to access good drugs which will lead to madness, armed robbery and criminality which is why we are having insecurity around the country due to influence of hard drugs”.
Pharmacist Aisha Ishaku thereafter handed over a position paper to the state government on possible ways of addressing drug abuse in the state.