The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has unfolded a plan to establish six standard rehabilitation centres in each of the geo-political zone of the country.
This, the agency said, would enable it treat the high number of persons suffering drug addiction across the country.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.), announced this yesterday at the fifth Biennial National Symposium on Drugs and Drug Policy in Nigeria, organised by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA). Marwa said three of the centres would start working next year, as proposed in the 2022 budget.
A statement yesterday in Abuja by NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said Marwa spoke as the special guest of honour at the symposium.
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The NDLEA boss announced that it was part of efforts to reduce drug abuse that the agency had proposed the construction of six standard rehabilitation centres across the six geo-political zones in the country, beginning from next year.
“There is no doubt that substance use impacts negatively on the individual, family and the society. Substance abuse affects the physical, social and psychological levels of the user and family members. Evidence has shown that COVID-19 infections are higher or more common with people diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders (SUD), hence addiction care must be reinforced in order to avoid complications of SUD and COVID-19.
“Reducing the demand for illicit drugs in the society depends, to a large extent, on the successful treatment of existing drug users. This fact accounts for the shift in global drug policy, viz the treatment of drug problems as a public health issue.
“Consequently, we have operationalised our Standard Practice and Policy Guidelines, a treatment and rehabilitation document developed in conjunction with UNODC. The document, like a field manual, provides synergy among our counsellors and further boosts our capability at treatment and rehabilitation,” he said.