Recent study of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes survey has said that the scourge of narcotic addiction is alarming, especially among youths across the globe.
To tame the evil in the country, the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, Brigadier General, Buba Marwa, in its renewed onslaught against abuse and trafficking of illicit substances, at an event, noted that efforts towards winning the war against drug trafficking will remain futile as long as people suffering from substance misuse disorder are not giving the required opportunity to be rehabilitated and reintegrated back into the society.
According to him, the spate of narcotic drug abuse, as well as its destructive consequences, can be mitigated with the provision of rehab centres, designed to help substance abusers overcome the trap of addiction. This, he said, will contribute immensely to winning the war against narcotic drug misuse.
In line with this stance, the Buba Marwa led NDLEA, unveiled its plan to establish at least one standard rehabilitation centre in each of the six geopolitical zones in the country to enable people suffering from substance misuse to get the right approach.
“Reducing the demand for illicit drugs in the society depends to a large extent on the successful treatment of existing drug users,” Marwa was quoted to have said.
To this effect, it is pertinent to note that as at April 2019, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, as part of its effort to help those battling with substance abuse in the State, overcome their addiction, built, equipped and commissioned a 48 client capacity rehabilitation and skill acquisition centre for the NDLEA command in the state.
However, over two years after it was established, the rehab is not being utilized effectively by citizens in the state.
Dr. Nnana Nworisa, the NDLEA Acting State Commander, has decried how people in the state have left the facility in a lurch instead of taking advantage of the facility to save relatives and friends from destroying themselves or the devastating effect of the misuse of drugs.
Dr. Nworisa said: “The state government built the rehab in collaboration with the NDLEA to help rehabilitate and reintegrate citizens into the state, suffering from substance abuse, back into the society.
“But countless people in the state with drug misuse issues are shying away from bringing their family and friends to the rehabilitation, apparently for fear of stigmatization. Amazingly, we have more foreigners from Niger Republic coming to the rehabilitation for treatment.
“At the take-off of the rehabilitation, the NDLEA in collaboration with the state government, picked 30 female clients, diagnosed with substance misuse disorder from the street of Katsiba for a three month training programme to help them have a normal life.
“However, since their well celebrated graduation over a year ago, we have very few people coming to the rehab to seek for treatment for their friends and relatives.”
According to Dr. Nworisa, the centre aside from treating individuals with substance misuse disorder, likewise has a skill acquisition session where it provides training for clients to enable them to become self-reliant.
Nworisa said: “The NDLEA Rehab also includes a skill acquisition session where its clients can undergo training on various trade and self empowerment programmes with the aid of staff from the state’s Youth Craft Village.”
To tame the tide against substance misuse in the state, Dr. Nworisa said: “there is need for public enlightenment using TV, radio, social media and outreach programmes to educate people on the need to take their relatives and friends with substance abuse disorder for treatment at the rehab to help them get their lives back.
However, Dr. Nworisa said the citing of the rehab inside the premise of the NDLEA state command may be connected to why potential clients are shying away from the rehab.
Notwithstanding, he said the NDLEA Rehab Centre, offer home services for clients who are not comfortable coming to the rehab for one reason or the other.
He also cited sponsorship as another factor holding potential clients back from availing themselves for treatment at the rehab as some of them may not be able to afford the cost.
Other challenges affecting the rehab according to the acting state commander includes, inadequate water and electricity power supply, as the rehab does not have a standard generating power set but relies on the epileptic national power supply.
Nworisa said: “the citing of the rehab in the command premise, I think, is partly the issue why potential clients are shying away. The rehab would have enjoyed more patronage if it were located in an isolated area with enough space where clients can come out and receive fresh air or participate in indoor sports activities, but because of the location, they are closely being monitored and always confined in their hostels.”