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NDLEA sets to tackle drug abuse in Northern Nigeria

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KADUNA, Nigeria – The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called for coordination and collaboration between tiers of government to tackle the scourge of drug abuse in the Northern Nigeria.

The Chairman/CEO of the NDLEA, Col. Mohammed Abdallah, made the call in Kaduna on Thursday during a paper presentation at the 1st Annual DFAM Anti-Drug Abuse Youth Leadership Summit.

It had its theme as: “The Role of Today’s Northern Youth in Shaping Nigeria’s Tomorrow.’’

Abdallah, represented by an officer of the NDLEA, Shedrach Haruna, said that in 2018, the agency arrested 9, 833 drug suspects nationwide, with the Northern part of Nigeria with the highest.

This he described as worrisome, NAN reports.

“The agency made arrests last year and most of the suspects were from the north including females.

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“We have in the North West suspects to be 2,829 males, females 60.

“The North East suspects had males to be 1003 and females, 49; while the North Central had 1,239 males and 68 females’’.

He added: ” We have Jigawa state with the prevalence rate of 7.0, Kaduna 10.0, Kano 10.0, and Katsina 12.0.’’

He said there is need for a robust mechanism to be put in place to identify the most vulnerable groups that could be targeted in planning intervention strategies.

“A major threat of peace in the region is the use of illicit and licit drugs.

” Insecurity and insurgency in several states are fuelled by the use of drugs.

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“The national household survey (2018) estimated the drug use population in Nigeria to be 14.3 million, aged between 15-64 years.

“This is more than twice the global average drug use population that is 5.6 percent.

‘“Clandestine laboratories is on the increase for the production of metha amphetamine. Domestic markets also exist for the transit of these.,’’ he said.

According to him, there must be improved levels of investment in treatment and care services.

He added that community policing should be able to check availability of illicit drugs and stigma related to drugs use.

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