The former Director-General, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Lanre Ipinmisho has urged parents to educate their children against the rising menace of drug abuse in society.
Ipinmisho gave the advice at the 10th Anniversary Lecture and Investiture into Realnews Hall of Fame, organised by Realnews in Lagos on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme is: “Drug Abuse among Youths in Africa: Implications for Nigerian Economy and 2023 Election.
Ipinmisho, Member, Presidential Advisory Committee on Eradication of Drugs Abuse (PACEDA) said that parents should wake up to their responsibilities and educate their children at an early age, about the ills of drug abuse.
The ex-NDLEA DG noted that the issue of drug abuse was not associated with separated parents alone, adding that some children were being influenced while with their parents.
Ipinmisho said that drug abuse awareness should start from the home, adding that what the parents were hiding from their children was already in their hands.
He said: “It is important that parents should make it a starting point to educate their wards and children at an early age.
We should not wait until they became adolescents before we start educating them on the need to enlighten them against drug usage before outsiders misinformed them.
” What can help us is to give hope to the children since they are hopeless at their dependent age.”
Ipinmisho said parents should bring back the good old days of praying and eating together with their children and be closer to them.
According to him, the culture of praying and eating together as one family in our homes should be practised because it brings oneness into the family.
Speaking, Dr Dotun Adedeji, a health expert, noted that awareness against drug abuse should not be left in the hands of government agencies alone.
Adedeji, the Director-General, Christ Against Drugs Abuse Ministry (CADAM) noted that this was because the extent to which drugs had eaten deep into the fabric of society was alarming.
“Today, one of the scariest things for me is the abuse of drugs, substances and addiction. I remember a group of 10 undergraduates were picked and tested randomly, eight had tested positive for drug abuse.
“I tell you that if they take 10 young people in Nigeria today, it will be nine over 10 who have tested one form of drug or the other because the types of drugs available today are common; prescription drugs, illicit drugs.
“Others are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, the alcohol which is the most common and because it is socially acceptable, people think it is normal when the drunk begins to mess up.
“Normally, Nigerians should not be buying these drug prescriptions off the counter but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case,” he said.
Adedeji said the NDLEA had done enough in creating rehabilitation centres for drug abuse, adding that more centres should be created in other states of the country.