NAFDAC DG Identifies Causes Of Drug Abuse In Nigeria

The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye has attributed the high rate of drug abuse in the country to lack of control of prescribed drugs, proliferation of the market with individuals who sell medicines among others.

Prof. Adeyeye who disclosed this in a remark at an event to mark the 2018 International Drug Awareness Day in Abuja said other factors responsible for drug abuse are the love for money by peddlers, unemployment, disobedience to the laws of the country, smuggling substances of abuse through our porous seaports and land borders, corruption and weak penalties for the sellers and traffickers.

According to her, the only way to avert a total breakdown of law and order by the addicts is for government to develop and enforce a National Prescription Policy.

Further stressing the need to arrest the trend of drug abuse among youths in the country, Prof. Adeyeye charged the three arms of government not to relent on their efforts in the fight against drug abuse, saying they have a major role to play by putting in place, stiffer penalties that are commensurate with the offences of drug abuse and illicit drugs in the country.

She therefore called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Religious bodies, Educational Institutions and Parents to join hands with government in the fight against drug abuse to curb the trend.

Adeyeye also admonished the media, Ministry of Information and other relevant agencies such as NAFDAC, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) who are directly responsible for the control, distribution and prevention of illicit drugs in the country to work with greater collaboration and synergy in order to address this menace of drug abuse in the country.

While identifying drugs like tramadol and codeine as the most commonly abused drugs in the country, the NAFDAC DG had this to say “Tramadol is a synthetic opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pains and is the most abused medicine among addicts. Tramadol and codeine are regulated as 50 and 100mg dosage strengths, but very high dosage forms of 200 and 225mg have infiltrated the market”.

She therefore advised youths in the country to desist from abuse of drugs as it portends very high risks such as arrhythmias, cramps, coma, and death.