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NDLEA to establish drug rehabilitation centres in Nigeria

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The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, said on Wednesday the agency will establish six rehabilitation centres in different parts of the country to check the impact of drugs on Nigerians.

Marwa, who disclosed this at the fifth biennial national symposium on drugs and drug policy in Nigeria, said the rehabilitation centres will be established in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.

According to him, three of the centres will commence operations next year.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the NDLEA to the fight against drug abuse in the country.

Marwa said: “Substance use and abuse around the world including Nigeria is on the increase in terms of the proportion of the world’s population. Findings from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) conducted by the UNODC revealed that 14.4 percent or 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 – 64 years had used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes.

“This means that one in seven persons has used some substances other than alcohol and tobacco. More worrisome is the finding that among every four drug users in Nigeria, one is a woman.

READ ALSO: NDLEA seized drugs worth N100bn, secured 1630 convictions – Marwa

“Above findings of the survey by UNODC give a troubling portrait of drug abuse in Nigeria and we can no longer live in denial that Nigeria has a thriving illicit drug culture.

“There is no doubt that substance use impacts negatively on the individual, family and society in general. Substance abuse affects the physical, social and psychological levels of the user and family members.

“Evidence has shown that COVID-19 infections are higher or more common with people diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders (SUD), hence addiction care must be reinforced in order to avoid complications of SUD and COVID-19.

“Reducing the demand for illicit drugs in the society depends to a large extent on the successful treatment of existing drug users. This fact accounts for the shift in global drug policy viz the treatment of drug problems as a public health issue.”

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