Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori has said that the legislature will support the domestication and enactment of laws that will assist in the fight against the consumption of illicit drugs and substances in the state.
Oborevwori stated this at a symposium for secondary schools students with the theme, “Say No To Illicit Drugs” organised by the Nigerian Medical Association National Committee on Narcotics and Substances in collaboration with the Delta State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association.
The event which held at the Accident and Emergency Conference Hall,Federal Medical Center, Asaba attracted students from different schools, medical personnel, officials of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA among others.
The Speaker represented by the Chief Whip and member representing Oshimili North Constituency, Hon. Pat Ajudua said the House is ready to partner with relevant bodies to amend existing laws or enact new ones that would help the state and federal governments in the fight against illicit drugs and substances as it posed great danger to youths.
He said the effects of the consumption of illicit drugs cannot be overemphasized as it can lead to mental illness and destroy the future of leaders of tomorrow, stressing that there was need for youths and students to say no to the use of illicit drugs and substances.
The Speaker advised the students to shun the use of illicit drugs in order to attain their full potentials as drug abuse could ruin their future and bring shame to their families and the society.
Rt. Hon. Oborevwori commended the Nigerian Medical Association for the awareness and sensitization campaign on the need to shun and stop illicit drugs and substances.
The Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Oghenekaro Ilolo, representatives of the Commissioners for Basic and Secondary Education and Health, Mrs Kate Ekonye and Mrs Udochukwu Tessy advised the students to avoid the temptation of indulging in illicit drugs and substances as no drug addict can be successful in life.
They charged the students to be change agents and advocates of a free drug society stressing that they should imbibe the virtues of hardwork, diligence and dedication to their studies.
The Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association National Committee on Narcotics and Substances Abuse, Dr Ejiro Iwuoha noted that the rate of consumption of narcotics and illicit drugs in the country was worrisome as statistics showed that about 190,000 persons die annually due to illicit drugs while mostly affected were adolescents and youths aged between thirteen and thirty five.
She said there was also an increase in the percentage of females getting indulged in drug abuse adding that the state legislature should make relevant laws including the domestication of the Tobacco Use Act which was signed into law in 2015.
Dr Iwouha said that though the inclusion of the campaign against illicit drugs in secondary schools curriculum had been proposed it was yet to be actualized making it imperative for the House to look into it while the campaign against drug abuse should be intensified in both urban and rural areas.
The Medical Director,Federal Medical Centre, Asaba Dr Victor Osiatuma represented by Dr Omoifo Casmir and the State Chairman Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Otene Cletus said the consumption of illicit drugs and substances had ruined many lives hence the need to address the problem headlong with such awareness programmes and commended the Nigerian Medical Association for taking the bold step.
There were lectures on the Social Problems of Illicit Drugs Use by Dr A. R Isara, Illicit Drugs and the Law by the State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Obiefule Chili and Psychoactive Substances and Mental Illness by Dr N. O.K Obaiyi where the student were exposed to the factors, causes, prevention methods and legal implications of indulging in drug abuse with the aid of a projector with video and picture clips on addicts.