By Emma Njoku
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) plans to establish six standard rehabilitation centres, one in each geo-political zone of Nigeria, as part of efforts to treat the high number of persons suffering drug addiction in the country.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday, as Special Guest of Honour at the 5th Biennial National Symposium on Drugs and Drug Policy in Nigeria, organised by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA).
In a statement by Mr Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Gen. Marwa, said: “Substance use and abuse around the world, including Nigeria, is on the increase in terms of the proportion of the world’s population. Findings from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) conducted by the UNODC revealed that 14.4% or 14.3 million Nigerians, aged 15 – 64 years, had used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes, meaning that one in seven persons has used some substances other than alcohol and tobacco.
“More worrisome is the finding that among every four drug users in Nigeria, one is a woman. Above findings of the survey by UNODC give a troubling portrait of drug abuse in Nigeria, and we can no longer live in denial that Nigeria has a thriving illicit drug culture.”
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He said as part of efforts to stem the tide, the agency has proposed the construction of six standard rehabilitation centres across the six geo-political zones in the country, beginning from next year. He said three of the centres would start next year as already proposed in the 2022 budget.
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