The Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, Brig. Gen. Bubar Marwa, rtd, has disclosed that the committee is finalizing plans to launch a War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, a national campaign similar to the War Against Indiscipline.
“We are actually in a war against drug abusers because it is central to all the problems with this country today. WADA will go down to the grassroots so that people will take ownership at the community level until we wrestle it firmly to the ground and kill it,” Gen. Marwa said at a media parley in Abuja.
Decrying the magnitude of what he termed as the root cause of all violent activities in Nigeria, Gen. Marwa said the committee is faced with the challenge of reducing the demand and supply channels in the grassroots, especially among those who take drugs but are not addicts yet.
The Chairman explained that government was yet to criminalize drug abuse, although it has declared a war against it that should be fought by everyone.
He lamented the dearth of medical psychiatrist in Nigeria and the inadequacy of rehabilitation centres across the country even as he disclosed plans by the Federal Government to establish 36 additional rehabilitation centres to fill existing gap.
The committee advocated stringent monitoring of drug supply mechanisms and the entire chain of narcotics distribution. It warned against complacency and the danger of Nigeria experiencing “generational problem.”
“There can be no drug abuse without drug supply and demand; we must monitor the demand and supply side of illegal drug consumption. We will partner with NDLEA, NAFDAC, and the Ministry of Health to map out the supply side. The most worrisome part is the demand side, we have only 11 rehabilitation centres in Nigeria and about 200 psychiatrists”, said Marwa.
The 27-man committee hinted on an upcoming partnership with the National Youth Service Corps to train corps members across the country on counselling and advocacy in a bid to fully involve the grassroots in the campaign against drug abuse.