Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retired), the head of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, has issued a warning to young Nigerians against using illegal substances.
In his speech on “Culture, Drug Abuse, and the Future of Nigerian Youths” at the National Institute for Cultural Orientation’s 2023 Annual Public Lecture, the NDLEA leader made the plea on Wednesday in Abuja
Marwa, who was present in person through Mrs. Anthonia Madubuike, commended NICO for its careful planning of the yearly lecture series.
The event, according to Marwa, showcased NICO’s steadfast dedication and passion for eradicating the scourge of drug usage and its negative effects on society.
“This event raises awareness of the risks associated with drug usage, making it appropriate and timely. It also educates society’s participants on their responsibilities for drug misuse prevention, treatment, and care.
“Substance abuse has medical, social, economic, and psychological consequences on user, family, and society at large,” the NDLEA boss stated.
According to Marwa, adolescents who use drugs frequently are more likely to experience challenges with their academic performance, health, peer relationships, and involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Additionally, he emphasized how drug usage has negative effects, including violence, rape, suicide, paranoia, poor academic performance, dropping out of school, bad health, debt, and the waste of resources.
He emphasized that drug addicts are more inclined to engage in crimes such as cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, and racketeering.
Marwa emphasized the significance of empowering youth by giving them access to high-quality education, career prospects, skill-acquisition opportunities, jobs, healthcare, and social support networks.
“Tackling drug misuse involves an all-encompassing strategy that encompasses prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs that should be readily available, reasonably priced, and considerate of cultural differences.
“Efforts to prevent drug abuse should concentrate on raising awareness of associated risks and strengthening protective factors like family and community support,” he said.
Marwa suggested including drug abuse education in school curricula to inform students about the dangers of drug abuse and illegal drug trafficking. He suggested that kids, principals, teachers, counselors, and school administrators all benefit from this knowledge.
In order to foster the healthy growth of Nigerian youngsters, he asked governments, civil society organizations, communities, religious leaders, professional bodies, and NGOs to collaborate and build a conducive environment. He also suggested that parents get active in their kids’ schooling and keep an eye on their kids’ extracurricular activities, friends, and internet usage.
“Schools ought to set up a three-way channel of communication for parents, kids, and schools.
“Leveraging technology and media to disseminate information, focusing on positive role models and inspiring narratives can help to shape cultural norms and attitudes towards drug abuse.
“Culture, drug abuse and the future of the Nigerian youth are interconnected.
“Recognising and respecting cultural values while addressing the challenges of drug abuse can provide Nigerian youths with opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to national development,’’ he stressed.