Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged for intensive awareness on the dangers of drug abuse as well as stiffer regulations to check the rise in illegal distribution and illicit trafficking of prescription medicine and other contraband drugs.
The governor said this on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking marked by the United Nations and its relevant organs.
The governor said that recent revelations on the high rate of abuse of prescription drugs was an indication of the deep roots of the problem, calling on stakeholders in the health sector, civil society and government to work together to address the root causes of the drug abuse.
He said the state government has been partnering with relevant Non-Governmental Organisations such as Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) among others in combating the growing trend of drug abuse, a task, he said, the state government was committed to strengthening and providing support to ensure that more of those affected are catered for.
Noting that this year’s theme of the commemoration Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe, was apt, he said “Much as we support these initiatives, I want to urge parents, guardians and other persons in positions of authority to see to it that youth learn the dangers of drug abuse. We are building an assured future for youth in Edo state, and would want that these youths are in stable condition to benefit from the massive industrialisation initiatives we are pursuing.”
He said the state government’s industrialisation drive is also targeted at ensuring that youths are gainfully engaged so that they would not be exposed to the vices of drugs and illicit trafficking of prescription medicine.
According to the United Nations, “By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.”