Unless there is urgent intervention, experts have warned that Nigeria may be building a nation of drug addicts. This is not unconnected with latest reports which show that 3 million bottles of codeine are consumed daily in Kano and Jigawa States.
Even the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration of Nigeria, NAFDAC, has expressed worry over uncontrolled use of codeine containing cough syrups across the country.
Also just last week, the Medical Director, Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Oluyemisi Ogun, had confirmed a sharp increase in the number of patients with drug-related cases seen at the hospital in recent times.
Ogun who spoke at a symposium put together by the Health Writers Association of Nigeria, HEWAN, with the theme: “Emergency Response to Disease Outbreaks: The Way Forward in Nigeria”, said although the threat of communicable disorders was evident, the nation ought to be more worried about non-communicable disorders like drug abuse.
“We are talking about communicable diseases, but we have another epidemic on hand, which is the issue of drug abuse. We are seeing more and more of this and it is a menace. I would urge that attention be drawn to it urgently. “There is no family now that is not affected.
Our children are at risk as much as our husbands, wives and other relatives. It is actually more than an epidemic. In all the nooks and crannies around us there are people selling drugs and we needed to bring this threat to the realm of the public and the government for us to be able to do something about it.”