FG To Conduct Survey On Drug Use | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG To Conduct Survey On Drug Use

Posted: Mar 4, 2016 at 5:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Federal Government says it is conducting a drug use survey to guide regulatory action in the country.

The Acting Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs Yetunde Oni, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

Oni said the survey would also develop drug prevention and treatment strategies to address drug problems in the country.

She explained that the policy was designed during the dissemination of the 2015 annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

According to her, drug abuse, particularly the abuse of prescription medicines, continues to be a threat to public health.

She noted that the outcome of the survey was expected to help address drug problems including the New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) which are beyond the purview of the three international drug control conventions.

Oni said that inadequate availability and lack of accessibility to narcotic drugs continue to be knotty and recurrent problems in most developing countries.

The acting director-general added that in Nigeria in particular availability of Opioids for treatment of pain continues to be a matter of concern.

The Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Cristina Albertin, said that over 600 drugs have been discovered while people often think of cannabis, heroine and cocaine when drugs are mentioned.

She said that the INCB report calls on countries to ensure a balance drug policy by prioritising the health and welfare of their citizens through ensuring availability of drugs for medical purposes and reducing the illicit supply of drugs.

The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Col. Muhammad Abdallah, said that there was an upward trend in the use of Tramadol over the past years.

He said that two significant seizures and arrests of suspects including the arrest of two pharmacists have been made.

Abdallah said that the single convention on narcotic drugs has amended states that government should limit the cultivation, production, manufacture and use of narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes, and prevent illicit cultivation, production, traffic and use.

Besides, he said that the fundamental function must be vigorously pursued until total victory over drug cartels was achieved.

The chairman noted that the 2015 annual report of the INCB focuses on the health and welfare of mankind.

He also said that the Nigerian government in collaboration with EU, UNODC and other stakeholders had successfully revealed its third national drug control master plan.

According to him, the master plan provides a frame work for reducing harm caused by drugs and for suppressing illicit drug production, supply and trafficking.

He also said that it had a mechanism for strengthening drugs control response.

He described the INCB report as a well researched document containing vital information of drug situation across the globe and recommended it for researchers, parents, opinion leaders, government agencies and the general public.