The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Saturday called on the Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPEMD) to collaborate with it in the fight against drug abuse.
The NDLEA Commander in Edo, Mr Buba Wakawa, made the call at a seminar organised for NAPPEMD in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo.
Newsmen report that the seminar was part of the activities marking the 2017 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Its theme is: “Listen First – Listening to Children and Youth Is the First Step to Help Them Grow Healthy and Safe.’’
According UN publication, by resolution 42/112 of Dec.7, 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe every June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
UN said, “It is an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
“The day is supported each year by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.”
Wakawa said that the workshop was aimed at promoting synergy, cooperation and collaboration between the NDLEA and NAPPMED in fighting the “tragic monster, drug abuse’’.
“The workshop is timely and relevant in view of the trends in drug trafficking and drug abuse, not only in our country, but globally.
“A NAPPMED member, as a businessman, is busy in his shop and may not be aware of the updated list of drugs newly added to the controlled list.
“This workshop provides avenue to get you informed and reposition you as critical stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse,” he said.
Wakawa said that drugs were substances, other than food which when taken, have the power to affect the psychology, mental and physical conditions of the human body.
He said that illicit drugs, which were banned or controlled, have the power to enslave the user until he becomes an addict.
The NDLEA commander disclosed that between 2016 and 2017, the command recorded a seizure of 836.35kg psychotropic substance such as Tramadol, Diazepam Rophynol and Benzhexol.
“Our focus is on the control of psychotropic substance which records show is on the increase in the state.
Between June 2015 to June 2016, the NDLEA Edo Command had seizure of only 40 grammes of psychotropic substance.
“However, between June 2016 and June 2017, the command has a total seizure of 836.35kg of psychotropic substance with a breakdown of Tramadol- 537.68kg, Diazepam- 281.42kg, Rophynol- 6.25kg and Benzhexol- 11kg.
“This upsurge is frightening and alarming, hence, the need for the workshop,” Wakawa said.
He urged members of NAPPEMD to shun greed and deal in genuine over-the-counter drugs, rather than indulging in the sales of controlled and banned drugs.
“We are ready to partner only with those involved in genuine business.
“We appeal to you to shun dispensing these illicit drugs to save our society from criminal vices associated with drug abuse.
“This gathering is no doubt a needful commitment toward finding a lasting remedy for our present and upcoming generations on matters of drug abuse,” he said.