Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Thursday said the society should not criminalise those addicted to hard drugs.
She made the remark at the Official flag-off of Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) Campaign in Kano state, organized by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Collaboration with Young Pharmacists Group(YPG) at the Government House Kano.
According to her, rather than isolating and discriminating, the society should look beyond the problem and begin to look at the main cause of the problem and address them for a lasting solution.
Represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, Buhari decried the prevalence of drug abuse among youths.
She said that drug abuse has prevented persons suffering from injuries and other illnesses to have access to drug such as tramadol and other strong pain killers as they have been banned by the government.
“As a result of drug influence, the lives of many youths have been destroyed as they engage in all sort of heinous crimes which has led to their incarceration.
“It must be understood that whatever crime someone under the influence of drugs commits is influenced by the drug.
“I want to commend the efforts of all government agencies in the fight against drug abuse in the country and that such efforts has led to the arrest and confiscation of 86 containers containing prohibited drugs,” she said.
Earlier, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, advised youths to shun all forms of drug abuse and engage in productive activities that would contribute to the growth of the state and nation at large.
He said that his government was committed to transforming the lives of persons engaged in drug abuse to better persons as the Kano Reformatory Home was currently under renovation where patients would be rehabilitated and acquire vocational skills.
In a remark, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said about 70 per cent of youths essentially, young boys, abuse illicit drugs in Kano.
Adeyeye who said that recent survey conducted revealed that prescription drugs abuse was fast-emerging a public health challenge especially in the Northern part of Nigeria.
She regretted that young girls and women of childbearing age in Kano were not left out of the endemic nature of the hard drugs in the state which she claimed many users considered to overcome their frustration.