The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has commended the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA) for their role in sensitizing and enlightening the public on drugs, drug prevention, treatment and care.
Governor Emmanuel gave the commendation while declaring open a four-day sensitization training on drugs and drug prevention, treatment and care for health workers in Akwa Ibom State recently.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor who was represented by his special assistant on Multilateral and Donor Agencies, Mr Ndianaabasi Nana Udom said the importance of such training cannot be overemphasized in the fight against drug and substance abuse in the state.
He charged the trainees to ensure that they also train others in their various departments when they go back to their health centres.
According to the official of CRISA, Mr Nsidibe Francis the trainings’ aim is to equip the health workers with the requisite knowledge and information on drug related issues in Nigeria, lamented that Nigeria remains a key transit point for drug trafficking such as cannabis, cocaine, precursors like ephedrine (used for manufacturing amphetamine-type stimulants – ATS) and tramadol in West Africa.
Mr Francis noted that despise efforts by the authorities to curb drug use in Nigeria drug use still remain a serious issue, stressing that all hands must be on deck to reduce demands for drugs, prevent drug use and also care for people with drug dependency for a better society.
The trainer asserted that people who use drugs need care instead of stigmatization, adding that drug dependency could be treated through drug substitution, counseling among others.
He identified some of the key barriers to the treatment of drug users to include prohibitive cost, fear and social stigma, non-availability of treatment centres and lack of information on where to find treatment