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Psychiatrists seek stiffer sanctions against drug abuse ahead of 2023 elections

Psychiatrists seek stiffer sanctions against drug abuse ahead of 2023 elections

Mental health professionals have called for more efforts against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general election.

They made the call in separate interviews to commemorate World Drug Day on Sunday in Lagos.

They said stakeholders should collectively address the increasing rate of drug abuse and its corresponding devastating effects.

A psychiatrist, Veronica Nyamali, said that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other law enforcement authorities should focus more on preventing drug abuse, considering its numerous devastating adverse effects.

Ms Nyamali, the vice-president of the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), said that a strong synergy and interaction between the NDLEA and the mental professionals were required to check drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

According to her, the moral upbringing of children is a primary responsibility of every parent.

“We should be more watchful, particularly now that the 2023 general election is drawing closer.

“Electoral violence, snatching of ballot boxes, killing, kidnapping and lots of other social vices are being executed under the influence of drugs.

“This is why it’s pertinent for the parents and the society as a whole to shield the youths away from getting involved with drugs,” she said.

Also, a consultant psychiatrist, Taiwo Sheikh, called for more security, monitoring and tightening of the country’s borders where some of these drugs were being exported and imported into the country.

Mr Sheikh, the immediate past president of APN, said that terminating the production and sources of the drugs was vital in efforts to prevent drug abuse.

“The laws regarding drug abuse in the country should be reviewed to have offenders duly punished. It will serve as a deterrent to others.

“All the enforcement agencies, including the government, should collaborate in efforts to curb drug abuse/trafficking because it requires a multi-dimensional approach,” Mr Sheikh said.

(NAN)

Source: Peoples Gazette.

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