Students’ union seeks massive education against drug abuse

Nigerian Coordinator, Pan-African Students’ Union Parliament (ASUP), Mr Henry Nwankwo, has called for massive education campaign on the effects of drug abuse to human life and the economy at large.

Nwankwo made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

He said the massive education was necessary to change people’s perception about drug abuse.

He said that drug abuse among young people had left them with depression, high level of suicide, all forms of crimes and other mental health problems.

Nwankwo said there was need for continuous rehabilitation of people involved in drugs, saying that engaging regulation or punishing the people involved in drugs or suicide might not go a long way in controlling drug abuse.

According to him, when people’s general perception and orientation about drugs are changed, it will have more positive impacts on the society.

“If people’s mindsets are educated and reoriented to realise that the drugs they are producing, selling or distributing will have negative impact on human life.

“And therefore, desist from getting involved in such drugs, it will be better because if there is no production or supply for the drugs, there won’t be demand for them,” he said.

Nwankwo noted that drug abuse and its preventions were inadequately addressed due to lack of awareness on it as an important public health problem.

“It is therefore important to raise massive public education awareness about drug abuse to make progress in preventing and controlling it in the country,’’ he said.

Nwankwo also said that poor record keeping, surveillance and monitoring of drug abuse behaviour were challenges that needed to be addressed.

He said that one of the mandates of the union was to campaign against use of illicit substances, drug abuse and addiction, which he said had eaten deep into society.

According to him, the union has been moving round Nigerian universities and polytechnics to educate students on the effects and dangers of drug abuse and the need to abstain from it.

Nwankwo said that the efforts of all stakeholders including parents, families, relations and governments were all needed to achieve remarkable impact.

“More research is needed to assess the patterns of drug abuse, changes in the rates, characteristics and methods of drug abuse as they will also help to set up an achievable plan in preventing drug abuse.

“More importantly, parents, families, caregivers, relations and governments input are all needed if any reasonable achievement is to be recorded in the prevention of drug abuse in Nigeria,” he said. 


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