NDLEA Boss Urges NAPPMED To Be Law Abiding .
The State Commander of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Rivers, Ahmed Mamuda, has advised the Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) to be law abiding.
Mamuda gave the advise during a day workshop organised by the NDLEA in collaboration with NAPPMED in Port Harcourt.
The theme of the workshope is “The Role of NAPPMED in Curbing the Menance of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”.
Mamuda said that the theme was in line with the directives given by the Director General of the NDLEA, Retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, to collaborate with all critical stakeholders in the communities through the concept called ”War Against Drug Abuse” (WADA).
He said that the aim of the workshop was to educate NAPPMED members who were very close to the society on their responsibilities and limitations on dispensing drugs to the public.
“The aim is also to educate them on the need to collaborate with NDLEA to fight against drug abuse by educating the youths who indulge in using illicit drugs about the dangers of drug abuse,” he said.
Mamuda said that the rate of drug abuse activities in the state was disturbing.
He, however, said the recent reduction of the activities recorded was due to some steps and measures put in place by the agency to curtail the abuse.
Mamuda advised NAPPMED members and all Patent medicine vendors to abide by the law and desist from unethical dispensing of controlled drugs to members of the public.
“We have succeeded in convicting over 84 suspects and some cases are pending,” he said.
Mamuda said NDLEA was committed to achieving a drug abuse free state and ensuring that persons that dispense drugs not allowed by the Constitution would be arrested, investigated and prosecuted.
He called on the state government to include the Agency into the State Security Council.
According to him, inclusion of the agency into the state security council will enable it bring its activities, achievements and challenges before the state government.
Also, Mrs Stella-Maris Amede, the NDLEA Assistant State Commander, Drug Demand Reduction Unit, described drug problem as a global plague affecting both developed and developing nations.
Amede, while presenting a paper on “Consequences of Substance Abuse”, mentioned three categories of Psychoactive drugs that affect the brain as depressant, stimulants and hallucinogens, which slowed down the activities of the brain.
Amede stated that NDLEA was addressing the problem through supply control measures and demand reduction activities aimed at reducing the menace to the barest minimum nationwide.
She also listed some of the drugs not to be sold by NAPPMED as Rohypnol, Amphetamines, Lexotan, Ephedrine tabs, Cough and cold with codeine syrup.
Others are Librium cap, Tramadol, Dextrose injection, Phenobal injection, Diazepam tablets and Tramadol royal shrubbery flavour.
She urged NAPPMED and the public to desist from the use of these medicines.
Mrs Quanta Dappa, the Desk Officer, Drug and Substance Abuse Control Unit, Rivers State Ministry of Health, said the state government would continue to collaboration with relevant agencies to ensure that illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse were reduced to the barest minimum.
Dappa stated that the state Ministry of Health constituted a Drug and Substance Reduction and Control committee of 11 members, comprising the NDLEA, Nigerian Police State Command, the Prison Correctional Centre, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and the Civil Defense Corps to curb the menace of drug abuse in the state.
She mentioned Tramadol as one of the drugs that pose a lot of problems in the society, calling on the public, especially young Nigerians, to desist from the use, except on the prescription of medical experts.
Mr Charles Opara, the Acting President Rivers, NAPPMED, commended NDLEA for its efforts in the sensitisation of its members.
Opara said that NAPPMED had a Taskforce team that went round all patent medicine stores to ensure that no member indulges in dispensing controlled drugs and trafficking of illicit drugs in the state.
He noted that NDLEA also carried out investigation, arrests and prosecutes persons that indulge in dispensing illicit drugs in the state.