The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos State branch, Tuesday advised youths to desist from engaging in illegal drugs activities or taking drugs without professional guidance.
The pharmacists made the call while rewarding secondary school students who emerged best in its Essay Competition to mark 2018 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Lagos.
The nationwide essay competition themed “Goals for Life: Say No to Drug Abuse” was to test their knowledge about drug abuse.
In his speech, the Chairman ACPN, Lagos branch, Dr. Albert Alkali, explained that drugs are good when taken according to prescriptions or when not misused and at the same time poisonous when misused.
Alkali urged the student to desist from drugs if they want to achieve their potentials in life.
“When you abuse drugs, you are not only putting yourself in danger but you put the lives of your family members in trouble.
“To be responsible citizens who will contribute his/her quota to the development of the society, you are supposed to do what you are expected within the society to maintain good ethical values, good grounds; observing the rules set in your schools and at home,” Alkali advised.
On her part, Drug Information Centre of ACPN chairman, Pharm. Florunsho Bukola, noted that the issue of drug abuse has become a matter of urgent global public health concerns.
“As a matter of fact, it is regarded as an epidemic worldwide and Nigeria is not excluded.
The abuse of drugs by adolescents has become of the world’s most disturbing health related problems.” she said.
Stating that several adolescents experience mental health problem, either temporarily or for a long period of time, she advised against starting drugs in the first place.
Commenting on the theme of this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, “Listen First”, she said listening to children and youth first was the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.
She said the young ones need to be listened to first and that is what gave birth to the essay competition.
‘’Following an alarming reports and recent frantic efforts by the government to curb the consumption and sales of these substances, the Drug Information Centre of the ACPN community pharmacists took it upon itself to look at avenues of enlightening the young people on the dangers of drug abuse to their health and goals in life.
“Also, we want to look at how to equip them with skills on how to say “No to drug abuse,” she explained, stating that the association’s nationwide essay competition was an excellent means of expressing one’s opinion.
Among the schools that participated in the completion, are Living World Academy Secondary School, Aba; Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School and Federal Science and Technical College, took first, second and third positions respectively.