The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said it is committed to clamping down on the consumption of methamphetamine, popularly known as ‘mkpurummiri’, noting that the consequences on mental health are worrisome to society.
Commander of NDLEA, Ebonyi Command, Isah Adoro, made the remarks during a one-day security sensitisation campaign, organised by the National Orientation Agency on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
The programme was tagged, ‘The Implementation of National Security Sensitisation and Re-orientation Programme against Political Thuggery, Kidnapping, Drug Addiction, Radicalisation and Violent Extremism’.
Adoro, represented by the Assistant Commander, Training, NDLEA in the state, Owunwa Ibezim, said the agency decried the consequences ‘mkpurummiri’ has on the mental health of people, especially the youths, who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“Drug abuse should not be treated as political issues but socio-economical issue. The use of mkpurummiri is already banned in Ebonyi; we call on the public to join the campaign train to overcome the intake of such drugs,” Adoro stated.
Director-General of the NOA, Dr Garba Abari, represented by the agency’s Coordinator in Ebonyi, Dr Desmond Onwo, said the sensitisation campaign is to educate drug users on the danger it has on the body.
He described the drug as a major cause of the increase in crime rate in the society and urged the general public to desist from the abuse as well the intake.
“Drugs are often associated with virtually all antisocial behaviours bedevilling the country.
“It is the enemy and the trigger, which pushes people into crime such as banditry, kidnapping, rape, gender-based violence, wanton killings and destruction of public assets amongst others,” he said.
The Director-General noted that the intake of hard drugs and abuse is impacting negatively on the national quest for rapid national development as many youths, who are the engine of growth for any nation, have continued to embrace.
“According to a survey conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes in 2018, an estimated 14.4 per cent or 14.3 million people, aged 15 to 64 years, have used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes.
“This confirmed that the incidence of drug abuse in Nigeria is not only prevalent but disturbing and alarming,” he added.
Garba, represented by Chief Superintendent of Police, Chinaka Eric, also added that the intake of hard drugs is responsible for the increase in the crime rate.
“To fight crime, we must tackle the unemployment and corruption among the people,” he said.