Umar Musa, director of narcotics and controlled substance directorate of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says most youth engage in drug abuse out of frustration.
He said this at a sensitisation programme Save the Future Initiative group organised to mark the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Musa said drug abuse is a problem beyond borders, adding that the victims should be appropriately referred to as dependents instead of addicts.
“Drug abuse is a world problem. It’s a problem beyond borders. Unfortunately, most of our youth are at risk because of their energy,” he said.
“They expend their energy on drugs because they believe it will enhance it. They use drugs out of frustration; some for pleasure while others due to poverty and lack of opportunities.
“In NAFDAC, we have come out with some strategies, like sensitisation and advocacy to curb the menace.”
Meanwhile, Stella Ngozi-Nweke, assistant director of drug abuse preventive education unit, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said Nigeria is fast becoming a producing country for illicit drugs.
“Nigeria started as a transit route, but it is fast becoming a producing country for illicit drugs. We are beginning to produce different kinds of illegal drugs. In fact, not all the drugs that come in go out,” she said.
“We are no longer battling with heroin and cocaine; it’s now prescription drugs. A lot is being done. Because it’s an enormous problem, all hands must be on deck. We are checking the supply of drugs and its control.”
Julius Ilori, founder of the initiative, said the focus of the group is to reduce crime rate among youths and that is why it is currently leading a campaign against drug abuse.
He added that the group had decided to proffer solutions to the problem in their own way.