June 12, 2024

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Lagos Holds Awareness Walk to Commemorate World Drug Day

3 min read

Mojisola Lawal

Lagos State Government has joined other state and non-state actors around the world to advocate for real fact sharing on the dangers of drug abuse and illicit trafficking as well as evidence based prevention, treatment and care resources available to citizens, as part of efforts to address drug challenges confronting the world.

This is just as the Lagos State Inter-ministerial Drug Abuse Control Committee held an Awareness Walk today around Alausa-Ikeja to Commemorate Year 2022 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Speaking during the walk, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye noted that fact sharing about drug situations amongst citizens especially youths and young adults help address drug abuse and illicit trafficking challenges and create a society that is free of drug abuse.
Ogboye who was represented by Director Pharmaceutical Services who also doubles as the Chairman, Lagos State Inter-ministerial Drug Abuse Control Committee, Pharm. Oyebisi Omolanbe said that fact sharing on the drug situation is the responsibility of all stakeholders and citizens adding that it is only when everyone plays their part that the goal of a world free of drug abuse can be achieved.

The Permanent explained that the theme for this year’s World Drug Day: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises” is well thought out to address the drug abuse challenges around the world particularly with regards to the recent health and humanitarian crises plaguing the world.

He noted that persons affected by health or humanitarian crises are vulnerable to drug abuse or substance use disorders adding that recent reports have revealed that drug abuse rate soared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“World Drug report 2021 revealed that about 275 million people used illicit drugs in 2020 which is projected to raise by 11% by 2030 globally and as much as 40% in Africa. This calls for urgent attention” he said.

Ogboye stressed the need to guide people against the use of drugs as a coping mechanism during health and humanitarian crises adding that the use of drugs is a negative coping mechanism that will worsen the situation.

“We need to let the people know that taking drugs during challenging times will not solve any problem as it would only worsen the situation. The key point here is that we should learn to say no to drugs and say yes to life.

“I urge everyone to get information on drug abuse and illicit use from verifiable sources, cascade the knowledge to our immediate family and communities and share only real facts. It is by doing so that we can save lives and attain a society that is drug abuse free”, the Permanent Secretary said.

While reiterating the State Government’s commitment to fight against drug and substance abuse and illicit trafficking, Ogboye noted that the Lagos State Inter-Ministerial Drug Abuse Control Committee and the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit of the Ministry of Health will not relent in carrying out the mandate of a drug abuse free Lagos. He added that the State Government prioritizes prevention through education and enlightenment as a strategy in the fight against drug abuse.

He applauded members of the Lagos state Inter-Ministerial Drug Abuse Committee which includes Lagos state Ministries of Health, Information, Education, Transportation, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Youth & Social Development and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for the successful World Drug Day commemoration.

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