As part of efforts to address drug challenges facing the world, the Lagos State Government has joined other state and non-state actors worldwide in advocating real fact sharing on the risks of drug abuse and illicit trafficking as well as evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care resources available to citizens.
This comes as the Lagos State Inter-ministerial Drug Abuse Control Committee celebrated the 2022 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by holding an awareness walk at Alausa-Ikeja on Monday.
Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, the permanent secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, said during the walk that citizens, particularly children and young adults, should be informed about drug circumstances in order to combat drug misuse and illicit trafficking issues and build drug-free communities.
Ogboye, who was represented by Director Pharmaceutical Services, Pharm. Oyebisi Omolanbe, who also serves as Chairman of the Lagos State Inter-ministerial Drug Abuse Control Committee, stated that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders and citizens to share information about the drug situation, and that it is only when everyone plays their part that the goal of a world free from drug abuse can be accomplished.
The Permanent explained that this year’s World Drug Day theme, “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises,” was carefully considered in order to address the challenges of drug abuse around the world, particularly in light of the recent health and humanitarian crises that have plagued the entire world.
Adding that recent research have shown that drug misuse rate increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated that people affected by health or humanitarian crises are sensitive to drug abuse or substance use disorders.
According to the “World Drug Report 2021,” there were roughly 275 million illicit drug users worldwide in 2020. By 2030, that number is expected to rise by 11%, and it could even rise by 40% in Africa. This requires immediate attention, he said.
Ogboye emphasized the need to warn people away from using drugs as a coping technique during health and humanitarian crises, noting that doing so is a bad idea that will make things worse.
“We need to educate the public about the fact that using drugs to cope with difficult circumstances will only make matters worse. The main idea here is that we should learn to say “yes” to life and “no” to drugs.
“I strongly advise everyone to learn about drug usage and illegal use from reliable sources, spread that knowledge to their close relatives and local communities, and only spread the truth. We can save lives and create a society free of drug misuse by doing this, according to the Permanent Secretary.
Ogboye reaffirmed the State Government’s dedication to the fight against drug and substance abuse as well as illegal trafficking, but added that the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit of the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Inter-Ministerial Drug Abuse Control Committee will not waver in their pursuit of the goal of a drug-free Lagos.
He continued by saying that the State Government stresses prevention in the fight against drug usage through educating and enlightening the public.
He commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), as well as the Lagos state Ministries of Health, Information, Education, Transportation, Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, Youth & Social Development, and Women Affairs for the success of the World Drug Day observance.