International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
Theme: “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises”
To commemorate this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, FIDA Nigeria raises a huge RED FLAG and calls for prompt action by all key actors and stakeholders.
It is pertinent to note that the UN now classifies the menace of Drug abuse and illicit trafficking as a ‘disturbing obstruction to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’, particularly Goals 3 on health and Goal 16 on peaceful societies.
As such drug abuse and illicit trafficking are no longer seen as minuscule factors affecting development in society, but a huge menace to the attainment of a peaceful and developed society with a healthy populace.
The key purpose of the commemoration on the 26th of June annually, of this day, (also known as World Drug Day), is to raise awareness of the major dilemma that illicit drugs represent to society, and to increase action and collaboration in the pursuit of a world free of drug abuse.
In Nigeria with the insecurities across the nation fueled by multiple social, economic, political challenges of all dimensions, not to mention tribal and religious conflicts which also abound with a lot of out-of-school children, and youths in our communities. Our porous borders and inability to control armed men attacking communities and inflicting untold hardship on them further aggravates the situation.
These attacks and the resultant insecurities have displaced millions of people, devastated agricultural production and other livelihoods, cut off essential services, and caused a crisis of protection. The frustrations are indeed immense, cutting across all genders and communities in the country with no early end to the conflict foreseeable. Reliance on available drugs to escape one’s frustrations seems therefore an easy route to take
In Nigeria, over 2.1 million people or 300,000 households, are now internally displaced in northern Nigeria, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The resultant effect is a humanitarian crises situation which must be addressed Now!
Populations affected by humanitarian emergencies are particularly vulnerable to substance (alcohol and other drug) use and its disorders, yet treatment and prevention services are very scarce. The different types of substances usually abused are readily available and easily purchasable. This is wrong and aggressive intervention is necessary with the collaborative effort of all key players.
misuse is a traumatic experience for both the addict and his or her family and
friends, who may feel helpless in the face of the sickness. Addiction to any substance, whether legal or illegal, can in some cases lead to serious health conditions. Certain
medications could alter the structure and functioning of
the brain. It impacts an individual’s self-control and interferes with the capacity to resist the impulse to consume the substance after repeated use.
We find that under the influence of drugs, most members of the society exhibit irrational behaviour, cause conflicts, overreact on issues, as they lack capacity and the control to do things right. Consequently, in a society where all age groups are susceptible to drug abuse, the above poses a serious dilemma.
We also acknowledge that massive humanitarian problems persist in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and other parts of the world, while the COVID-19 pandemic remains a huge worldwide health disaster. People all over the globe are in desperate need; from war zones to the refugee camps, to communities shattered by violence.
FIDA therefore raises this red flag to advocate alongside the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, on the urgent need to preserve the right to health for the most vulnerable in our communities, including children and youth, drug users, persons with drug use disorders, and persons who require access to regulated medicines.
We must intervene now to make our world safe, peaceful with continuous progressive development. We must all work together as collaborators, share genuine information about the drug issue, from health dangers to solutions to the global drug epidemic, as well as evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care services in times of crisis.
FIDA Nigeria calls on ALL, to recognize and properly address the growing menace of illegal drug availability, its abuse and illicit trafficking challenges. More must be done regarding the prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration of drug abusers into society.
Let us we work collectively to keep our children, youths and communities safe from exposure to drug use, drug abuse, and drug trade/trafficking activities, as we strive to prevent further humanitarian crises within our country, particularly as we mark another International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
FIDA Nigeria emphatically says NO to Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking!!!
Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje
Country Vice President/National President FIDA Nigeria.