Daily Trust

Ex­perts harp on drug con­trol laws for youths

- From Dick­son S. Adama, Jos Narcotic Drugs · Crime · Medicine · Society · Human Rights · Justice · Criminal Justice · Law · Ghana · United Kingdom · United States of America · Maryland · Malaysia · Plateau State · Baltimore · University of Jos

Men­tal health ex­perts have called for the strength­en­ing of drug con­trol laws in or­der to check the rate of ad­dic­tion among youths and to re­duce crime rate in the so­ci­ety.

The ex­perts who spoke at a zoom round­table dis­cus­sion on the theme, 'Ad­dress­ing Is­sues of Peace, Jus­tice, Se­cu­rity and Hu­man Rights (The Right to Health)', also ad­dressed the is­sues of drug use and the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, an­tiq­uity and mod­ern times.

The event which was or­ga­nized by Charis Health­care and Com­mu­nity Sup­port Ini­tia­tive (Jos) and Funded by Rosa Lux­em­berg Stiftung had par­tic­i­pants from Jos, Akure, Ibadan, Abuja, Gombe, Makurdi, Otukpo, Lokoja, Ghana, UK, USA’s

Mary­land

Malaysia.

A Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chi­a­try/ Honorary Con­sul­tant Psy­chi­a­trist at the Uni­ver­sity of Jos and Jos Uni­ver­sity Teach­ing Hospital (JUTH) in Plateau State, Obindo James Taiwo, ex­plained that like ev­ery other dis­ease, drug ad­dic­tion among youths and other vul­ner­a­ble groups can be pre­vented and treated, adding that if left un­treated, it can last a life­time.

"How­ever, how long it takes for an in­di­vid­ual to be­come ad­dicted is de­pen­dent on the type of sub­stance, re­peated use or dose taken. Once hooked or ad­dicted, the in­di­vid­ual can do ‘any­thing’ to get a 'fix’ in­clud­ing com­mit­ting crime," he added.

Dr AishatuYus­ha’u Ar­miya’u of the Foren­sic Psy­chi­a­try Unit, JUTH, said drug users

Bal­ti­more,

and al­ways need to gen­er­ate il­le­gal in­come to sup­port their drug habit, there­fore mak­ing them to get in­volved in crimes like rob­bery, theft, and pros­ti­tu­tion to get funds to buy drugs.

She said drug abuse might in­hibit and lead to im­pul­siv­ity, ag­gres­sion, abu­sive­ness, ar­gu­men­ta­tive­ness, ag­i­ta­tion and grandios­ity in the abuser, which ul­ti­mately re­sults in the im­pair­ment of judg­ment and vi­o­lent crimes.

"The men­ace of drug abuse is like a vir­u­lent cancer rav­aging our so­ci­ety, with grave health, so­cial and eco­nomic con­se­quences which threat­ens our sur­vival. There­fore, all hands must be on deck to curb th­ese threats in or­der to guar­an­tee our sur­vival and se­cure fu­ture. The crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is a stake­holder," she said.

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