FG seeks concerted efforts in fight against drug abuse

The Federal Government has called on relevant stakeholders to make concerted efforts towards ending drug abuse among youth in the country.

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande, who made the call during a working visit to the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, in Abuja noted that this is to prepare the youth for employability, entrepreneurship as well as future leaders.

Olawande disclosed that the ministry was planning to establish an institution that would be known as the Nigerian Youth Academy.

He said in the institutions, youths would be taken through some training to engage them in meaningful ventures in order to avoid the temptation of drug abuse and crime.


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The minister further disclosed that lack of engagement, unemployment and skill gap have led to an increase in the consumption and abuse of drugs among the youth.

“The youths are more concerned with following trends. It is now time for the youth to stop following unproductive trends and start thinking and working”, he said.

Olawande added that the ministry also planned to introduce a door to door campaign, which would be spearheaded by him to engage the youths in all the 774 Local Government Areas of the federation.

“We will use the corp members as a force to engage the society at large, especially secondary school students, to curb drug abuse, corruption and cybercrime”, he said.

He stated that it is time that society stopped neglecting the youth in the informal sector, as they are flexible and open to activities that can cause disruption and commotion in the society.

The minister called on the UN to collaborate with the government to establish the Nigerian Youth Academy in ensuring that the youths were gainfully engaged.

At first, the Country Representative of UNODC, Mr Oliver Stolp expressed his appreciation to the minister and his team for taking out time to pay him a visit.

Stolp noted that the UN had numerous intervention programmes on youth engagement, drug abuse, cyber crime and corruption. He called for the support of the government in these interventions.

Credible news reports that the UNODC World Drug Report 2023 warns of converging crises as illicit drug markets continue to expand.

The data put the global estimate of people who inject drugs in 2021 at 13.2 million, which is 18 percent higher than previously estimated.

Globally, over 296 million people used drugs in 2021, an increase of 23 percent over the previous decade. The number of people who suffer from drug use disorders, meanwhile, has skyrocketed to 39.5 million, a 45 percent increase over 10 years.

The Report features a special chapter on drug trafficking and crimes that affect the environment in the Amazon Basin, as well as sections on clinical trials involving psychedelics and medical use of cannabis; drug use in humanitarian settings; innovations in drug treatment and other services; and drugs and conflict.

The World Drug Report 2023 also highlights how social and economic inequalities drive – and are driven by – drug challenges; the environmental devastation and human rights abuses caused by illicit drug economies; and the rising dominance of synthetic drugs.

The demand for treating drug-related disorders remains largely unmet, according to the report. Only one in five people suffering from drug-related disorders were in treatment for drug use in 2021, with widening disparities in access to treatment across regions.

The UN says youth populations are the most vulnerable to using drugs and are also more severely affected by substance use disorder in several regions.

In Africa,  it said, 70 percent of people in treatment are under the age of 35.


Credible news.ng

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