By The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called on the federal government to adopt a comprehensive and balanced approach to drug control adding that drug trafficking has been a long standing problem in the country beginning with cannabis and later cocaine and heroine.
The Country Representative of UNODC, Ms Cristina Albertin stated this in Abuja yesterday at the 12th Biennial International Conference on, ‘Drugs, Alcohol and Society in Africa’, organised by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse in Africa (CRISA) with the theme, “Public Health and Drug Policy in Africa: Beyond the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS 2016).”
To this end, she revealed that Nigeria alongside other West African countries became a transit hub for cocaine transported from South America which was destined for more lucrative markets particularly in Europe.
According to her, “Comprehensive data on the extent and scope of drug use in Nigeria is not yet available which are key to developing demand reduction policies.
Albertin regretted that drug trafficking, production and use have negative effects on individuals, families, communities and societies which manifested in form of crime thereby leading to loss of lives and properties.
Also speaking , the Director of CRISA, Prof. Isidore Obot said the consumption of psychoactive substances like cannabis and potent stimulants like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroine as well as opioid analgesics like tramadol poses serious health risk to the young and old in the society.
He expressed worry that less than one per cent of Africans who inject drugs and are living with HIV receive antiretroviral therapy compared to their counterparts in Western Europe where 100 per cent of the addicts received treatment.