The Ondo State Committee on Drug Control has advised youths in the state to shun drug abuse, saying that they could still achieve success without indulging in the usage of stimulants.
Mrs Folukemi Aladenola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, stated this during a sensitisation on the menace of drug abuse at the Foursquare Gospel Church, FUTA Area, on Sunday in Akure.
Aladenola, who is a pharmacist, urged youths to manage their time very well and shun stimulants.
“We have seen a lot of youths under the influence of drugs especially the psychoatic drugs and that is why the ministry has taken the sensitisation and education of youths against the use of illicit drug seriously.
“We also talk to parents so that they can address them at home.
“So, we go round schools, religious gatherings and talk to our youths on why they should stay out of drug abuse.
“They can still achieve success without stimulants,” she stated.
According to her, the ministry does not stop at the sensitisation level but engages in feedback and has put in place mechanisms to restore those addicted in drug abuse.
“After the sensitisation, we do follow ups if we have cases of people that have already abused drugs. That is why we involve psychiatric hospital in partnering with us to restore people that are already addicted.
“We put in measure to correct, not just mere sensitisation,” she said.
Earlier, Dr Sunday Sajo, a Consultant Psychiatrist, noted that drug abuse had become a major public health problem, saying its effects could be seen mainly among the youths.
Sajo added that high rate of criminalities in the society could be attributed to the increased involvement of youths in drug abuse.
He explained that drug abuse affects sense of reasoning and vital parts of the body.
According to him, drug abusers have become slaves to drugs, hence the need to stay out of drugs.
The consultant advised parents and guardians to keep a keen watch over their children and wards.
Mr Gbenga Lasekan, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the ministry, said that human existence would continue to remain in danger if the issue of drug abuse was not properly addressed.
Lasekan, a pharmacist, noted that there was no community without cases of drug abuse, saying that it was easier to avoid drug abuse than leaving in addiction.
In her remarks, Mrs Yetunde Jeyifous, Assistant Commander of Narcotics Drug Demand Reduction Unit of the NDLEA in Ondo, stated that the sensitisation was to enlighten the populace and dissuade their minds from drug abuse.
Jeyifous said drug abuse was not a respecter of anybody.
She tasked youths to avoid friends and environment that encouraged drug abuse, saying that there was need to live a healthy life.
She advised drug abusers to consult the appropriate agencies for correction and counselling.
Responding, Prof. Michael Oyinloye, the Resident Pastor of the Church, lauded the ministry for carrying out the sensitisation which he described as interesting and educative.
Oyinloye promised that the church would continue to sensitise the youths and interact with them as they were more vulnerable. ( NAN)