Youths who take codeine may be unable to reproduce – NDLEA - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

Youths who take codeine may be unable to reproduce – NDLEA

Superintendent of Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos State Command, Musa Aliyu, has lamented the high level of drug abuse and how it affects the youths negatively.

He made this observation at a drug walk organized by the Adorable Foundation International (AFI) last weekend to mark the United Nations World Drug day.
In company with his deputy, Usman Mohammed, he said that the agency was proud to partner with AFI in the war against drug abuse.
Musa advised parents to look out for signs that could reveal a child is taking drugs.
“If you go to their rooms, observe what is within. You may see a lighter or matchbox, pieces of papers, bottles. If the child is not sick, the parent should ask what cough syrup is doing in the room.”
“The cough syrup is now taking a new dimension. Young girls who are future mothers mostly abuse it. If we allow them continue taking codeine, they may be unable to reproduce. The more they take, the more it damages the womb and that would be the end. Also look out for corks (especially from bottles) it is very important in burning cocaine. They usually light a candle under the cork; then they would hold the cork with a scissors for it to start burning. Initially they use teaspoon but now corks are in fashion. If you see syringes in their rooms, you should ask why, especially if the person is not a doctor.”
He continued: “If you check under their mattresses and see some particles of what they smoked, you know what to do. There are also posters of people that do or did drugs that they usually buy from the market, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s posters, Bob Marley’s and their caps with their logo on it. Even wristbands coloured green, yellow and what have you. If you notice that your child is beginning to wear such things, he or she could be going the wrong way. Sometimes you see them having multiple pockets, they could have about six pockets when they are not selling anything in the market.”
Musa concluded that the ultimate devastating effect of drugs is that it takes one’s money and life.
“There is nobody that would smoke marijuana for eight years non-stop without running mad no matter how big his brain is, either he is by the roadside or he is talking himself,” he said.
To commemorate the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the walk was organised by Adorable Foundations International (AFI) in partnership with the UN and ASACADA (A Societal Awareness Campaign Against Drug Abuse), a non-governmental organization.
AFI bemoaned the staggering increase of drug abuse and its victims as well as its negative effects especially among the youth and took to the streets of Lagos to sensitize Nigerians on the need to stay away from drugs.
The road walk kicked off from Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, to the palace of the Eze Ojiofor Ndigbo, Lagos, HRH Eze Cyril Anomneze for fatherly blessings before taking the message to residents of Ojuelegba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Maryland, Yaba, CMS, Obalende and Awolowo Road, before heading back to the stadium.
Reacting to the walk, Founder and President, Adorable Social Club of Nigeria (ASCN) and AFI, Princess Okeke-Amam said she was filled with excitement for the realisation of the campaign, which had involved a lot of planning.
Addressing the media, she said the day was one for sober reflection. Quizzed about the foundation’s ability to take the campaign nationwide, she said: “As I speak to you, the campaign is going on in Abuja and Awka and in some other state capitals. Adorable International will go nationwide to see that we do what we can for our country.”
“What is driving me is the zeal and passion to save a soul. When we visited Jabi Park, a police officer met me and told me how he took drugs because of depression. After speaking with him, I was so happy he promised to turn a new leaf. We want to live up to our slogan, which is “Put a smile on the Lazarus around you.”
On the UN theme of the day, “Listen first,” Okeke-Amam had this to say, “I’m happy that the UN theme for this year’s drug day is “Listen First.” We have to listen and that is what we are doing. We have to spread the message of listening first for parents, and then for people especially youths to know the implications of drug abuse.”
Lawyer and patroness of ASCN and ASACADA Foundation of Nigeria International, Nkechi Chukwueke, added that the campaign would soon be taken outside the shores of the country.
Lagos based-lawyer and father of the day, Guy Ikeokwu, canvassed for support for the less privileged from individuals, corporate bodies and the government, which he said drove him to back the foundation.
Friends of the club and foundation adorned themselves in red to support the movement around the mega city. Psychiatric doctors and music artistes were also present.
Senior Registrar, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr Gbonjubola Abiri, debunked claims that some people who take drugs live up to old age.
She said: “Unfortunately they are talking from ignorance because the truth is there may be people who take substances and it appears like there is nothing wrong with them but what we always say is that it affects not just the brain but many other organs in the body. It predisposes them to medical illnesses and mental illnesses as well.
“We always see patients who come down with mental disorders who can’t function and who sometimes lose their lives in the process. So while it may look like it’s not affecting a certain amount of people, you would never know what effect it would have on you. And then even when there is a problem, it’s difficult for you to tell that there’s a problem because the organ that is supposed to be telling the body its problem is malfunctioning heavily under the influence of substance.”
She lauded the efforts of the foundation and emphasized that the message be taken even to children, who appear to be the latest victims of drug abuse.
Her words: “A campaign like this is a laudable effort. However, it’s still a drop in the ocean. But we must give it to people like Adorable Foundation, the UN, NDLEA and others working hard to see a zero-tolerance of substance abuse.
“Efforts are on-going and since the theme for this year is ‘Listen First’, we are looking at children because the age of initiation of these substances is rapidly dropping, you find patients you are conversing with and they tell you that as little as age eight or nine, they got introduced into smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol by people in their environment. So awareness is increasing not because these things haven’t been there, it’s just that these days there’s a lot of awareness towards these substances.”

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