Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) says curbing drug abuse has been a major challenge affecting the growth of the country and needs urgent attention.
President of the group, Dr Hope Abraham, who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, also listed ways to prevent further complications.
According to him, curbing drug abuse among youths and teenagers will include the provision of employment, support from families, more awareness by law enforcement agencies and education.
He said youths in the country have continued to face challenges such as unemployment, lack of education and family support.
He added that idleness, peer pressure and naive curiosity also accounted for the increasing rate of illicit drug consumption among youths in the country.
He said that prevention of drug abuse by youths and teenagers was far better than treating it, adding that prevention would help eradicate the menace.
“NGOs like VGADA were created to stop the scourge of drug abuse and to educate people on preventive measures. That is what we are doing and to ensure further complications do not occur.
“Those living around drug abusers should never become enablers. They should be careful because anybody can be addicted to drugs,” he said.
Besides, Abraham said that it was a major responsibility of parents to always be there for their children, rather than leaving them to the care of nannies.
Youths are very impatient, they want to explore themselves and if they are not positively engaged, certainly mischievous spirits and beings will engage them.
“They need every support from their family to engage in meaningful things rather doing drugs that will cause more harm than good to their lives,” he said.
He, however, emphasised that women were the backbone of the family and community at large hence the need to raise more awareness to educate them.
This, he said would help so that they can use the knowledge acquired to prevent drug abuse in their homes and communities.
“We learnt that the statistics released stated that 15 per cent of Nigerian adults are addicts and 1/3 of world drug users are women at this point. It is safe to say that we should consider drug abuse intervention early,” he said.
Abraham urged the government to look into the challenges and other harmful reasons driving youths and children into drugs.