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DRUG ABUSE: Delta Government To Build Rehabilitation Centres In Warri, Agbor

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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To strengthen mental health services in hospitals and help drug users to come out from addiction, the Delta State government has concluded plans to build two rehabilitation centres in Warri and Agbor axis of the state.

The centres are to help drug users acquire skills to be self-sustaining and to be dissuaded from drug abuse which would include improved mental health services in the hospital and help treat cases of drug abuse in the acute face of addiction.

The state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who spoke Thursday at a one day train-the trainers’ workshop organized by the State Drug Control Committee with the theme: “Drug Abuse Kills”, the governor, urged Deltans to resist every temptation to abuse drugs.

The governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, said prevention was better than cure, “all hands must be on deck to get rid the society of the twin evils of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking since drug abuse is basically societal problem. The ultimate remedy lies within society to fight drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking”, adding that the fight against drug abuse should not be left for government alone, calling on the family, the mass media, NGOs and religious bodies to crusade the process.

He said the state government would continue to assist the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the state drug control committee in the campaign against drug abuse.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Ononye, who doubles as the Chairman of the Committee stressed that the training must engender change, “we are hoping that participants we take the information to the schools to help stop drug abuse among students.

The State Commander of NDLEA, Oniefule Dennis Chidi, hinted that Cannibis sativa or Marijuana used to be the only locally produced illicit drug in Nigeria until the discovery of a clandestine laboratory for the production of Methamphetamine in Lagos State in 2011. This led to the discovery of 10 other such illegal laboratories in different states of the federation including the one discovered and dismantled at Asaba, in March 2016.

He revealed that the state Command has recorded successes through sustained interdiction, Cannabis sativa farm destruction, drug demand reduction activities and prosecution of offenders.

According to him, 142 person were convicted, a total of 46, 634kg of Cannabis sativa, 2.323kgs of Cocaine, 14.4kgs of psychotropic substances and 71.1kgs of Heroin were seized between 2014 and 2018, “also, a total of 42 hectares of Cannabis sativa farms were destroyed and four Mexicans and five Nigerians who operates the discovered laboratory in Asaba are standing trail at the Federal High Court.