The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ogun State Command, organised an event in Abeokuta to commemorate the 2023 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. The event was themed ‘’People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention’’.
The guest speaker, Dr. Martin Agwogie, encouraged the public and stakeholders in the drug-related sector to provide social and health services for persons with drug use disorder, rather than stigmatizing and discriminating against them. Dr. Agwogie emphasized that stigmatization and discrimination could negatively affect their marriages, relationships, and employment, and lead to low self-esteem, widening gender disparity, underreporting, and measurement errors.
Dr. Agwogie commended the Ogun State Government and the NDLEA on the various interventions aimed at curbing the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. However, he stressed the urgent need to pay attention to evidence-based prevention with a focus on the development of appropriate interventions.
The NDLEA presented a panacea for drug abuse in Ogun State, which includes the provision of social and health services for persons with drug use disorder, the establishment of drug-free clubs in schools, and the adoption of a community-based approach to drug abuse prevention.
The panacea is expected to help tackle the problem of drug abuse in Ogun State and promote the social and economic well-being of the entire citizenry.