THE Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, NAPHARM, has raised concern over the statistics of Nigerians abusing drugs, saying, “if the menace of drug abuse are not checked, it will impair all efforts to put the nation on a higher political and economic pedestal.”
Speaking ahead of the NAPHARM conference in Lagos tagged: Pharmacy United Against Drug and Substance Use in Nigeria, Chairman of NAPHARM Drug and Substance Abuse Committee, Dr. Lolu Ojo stated that a 2018 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODOC, endorsed by the former Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole and the Statistician- General of the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria, Dr Yemi kale revealed that 14.4 million Nigerians aged between 15 and 64 years are drugs users.
The academy also noted that, a 2018 report also revealed that Nigeria has 10.6 million users of Cannabis; 4.6 million users of pharmaceutical opiods, 238,000 amphetamine users, and one out of every five users of drugs are already dependent.
Ojo said: “One out of every four drug user is a woman. There are unconfirmed reports that the age of use has gone down to seven years which means that the children in primary schools are already involved.
“We wish to sound a note of warning that this challenge may even be more than the current official estimates at our disposal and we will request the nation to be aware of the iceberg phenomenon that this subject may present before us.
“There is practically no major city in Nigeria that does not have hideouts or joints or clubs or ram-shackles where the young ones gather to buy or use drugs of different descriptions to feel good.”