The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has decried the continuous high-level of abuse of Tramadol and codeine based cough syrup among Nigerian youth and women.
NDLEA Chairman, retired Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, said this while delivering Nigeria’s statement on ‘Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice and World Drug Problem’ at the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters, New York.
Abdallah said: “Nigeria is witnessing a high level of abuse of tramadol and cough syrups containing codeine, especially by vulnerable youths and women.
“This is a phenomenon common to many countries in the West-African sub-region which has ushered in a new level of transnational organised crimes.
“As a result, a lot of national and sub-regional initiatives, including capacity development, have been put in place to address the situation”.
Given the linkage between drug abuse and crime perpetration, he said, Nigeria had stepped up the implementation of measures to combat the incidence of drug proliferation, trafficking and abuse.
”This is based on our conviction that strong national commitment and effective international collaboration and partnership are very critical to eliminating the menace of illicit drug flows, ”he stressed.
According to him, the agency is implementing a robust National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP 2015-2019) to address illicit drug supply and demand.
The NDLEA boss added that the agency was also countering money laundering and access to controlled narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes.
He said the ‘UNPLUGGED’ evidence-based school preventive programme that targeted ages 10 to 14 years instituted in 2016 had witnessed the enrolment of 65 schools in its pilot project.
UNPLUGGED is an evidence-based programme designed to equip young people with specific skills and resources that they need to resist social influences and to support knowledge about drugs and their adverse health consequences.
Abdallah noted the availability, access and control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals for medical and scientific purposes.
He said the Nigerian Government had produced guidelines, in tandem with international standards, on realistic estimation and quantification needs assessment for required Narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors for medical and scientific purposes.