No Going Back on Fight Against Drug Abuse – NAFDAC
By Denen Ako
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) through its Narcotics and Controlled Substances Directorate has reiterated its commitment toward the fight against drugs and substances abuse.
The Agency in its current Drug Use Handbook stated that drug and substance abuse by some individuals in the society calls for an immediate and holistic approach by all Nigerians to halt the menace.
It explains that ‘‘drugs in simple terms is any substance other than food, that affects the functioning of the body or the brain, drugs when used medically ensures treatment, cure, prevention and promoting general well-being of an individual, thus all medicines are drugs but not all drugs can be classified as medicines. Drugs can be classified in various ways such as Legal drugs, Socially Acceptable/Recreational Drugs and Illegal Drugs.’’
Legal drugs according to the Agency can be obtained from hospitals and pharmacies with a medical prescription or over the counter. Prescription medicines are bought with a doctor’s note that contains information of how it should be administered, while over the counter medicines such as Panadol, Paracetamol, Vitamin C etc can be bought without a prescription and are used to treat various ailments.
Socially Acceptable/ Recreational Drugs are usually served during social functions or used in the daily life of a people as part of their culture, ritual or religious function and they include kola-nut (caffeine), coffee, alcohol and cigarette. They are used for relaxational and recreational purposes by certain individuals.
Illegal drugs just like the name implies are drugs considered very dangerous with a high risk of abuse due to their ability to change brain functions and perception of the mind. They also cause severe problems to users of such drugs. They can bring about violence, accidents, mental problem and even death in some cases. Illegal drugs include marijuana (which is commonly abused), cocaine, heroin, hash, opium, meth, crack and the list is inexhaustible. Illegal drugs are so harmful to individuals and society so much so that countries across the world enact very strict legislation over their control. In Nigeria, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is one such body charged with controlling illegal drugs.
NAFDAC advice the general public never to experiment on any illegal drug or assume that one may control their substances intake and avoid visiting locations where illegal drugs are been used, as the impact of illegal drugs use cannot be over emphasized and in the event of any known case(s) of illegal drugs use the nearest NAFDAC office should be contacted.