Drug Abuse, Addiction Becoming Epidemic In Nigeria, Health Expert Warns

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Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole

By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos

Drug abuse and addiction with their concomitant health disorders have become an epidemic in Nigeria, experts disclosed.

Dr. Oluyemisi Ogun, Medical Director, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, and Professor Christiana Adeyeye, Director-General, NAFDAC, raised the alarm in Lagos recently.

“The issue of drug abuse is a menace.  Our children, husbands and wives are affected.  It is a pandemic right now.  We are seeing more and more if this, and it is a menace,” Ogun lamented.

She expressed concern trhat many Nigerians ingest various psychedelic and narcotic substances, including some brands of cough syrups, in order “to get high.”

Also, the psychiatric specialist urged respective health authorities to initiate measures that will control  the rising incidences of communicable diseases in the country.

She made clear the difference between drug abuse and drug addiction.  “Taking drugs beyond prescription is abuse,” she clarified.  On the other hand, “Drug addiction means you cannot do without the drug” – habit which she explained “leads to malfunctioning of some parts of the brain.”

Professor Christiana Adeyeye, Director-General, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) highlighted the dangers of counterfeit and fake drugs.

She declared:  “Counterfeit drugs pose public health hazards, waste consumer income and reduce the incentives to engage in research and development innovation.’

Adeyeye added that the use of fake drugs could poison body organs.

She also pointed out that counterfeit drugs cause treatment failure, results in untreated disease and death.

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