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NDLEA raises alarm as 700 substances hit hard drug market

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has raised an alarm over the emergence of new illicit drugs. The agency also stated beyond, heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, about 800 other harsh substances have begun to circulate.

At a training program organized by Global Initiative on Substance Abuse, the Chairman of NDLEA, Col. Mohammad Abdallah, spoke vehemently against such drugs, mentioning that the agency has proof through the arrests and seizures it has made so far. He equally explained that countries all over the world constantly battle with the abuse of drugs, many of which are not internationally banned but could cause dangerous addictions.

Through his representative at the event, the NDLEA boss decried,  “Apart from the conventional drugs namely cocaine, heroin, cannabis etc, the growing threats of new psychoactive substances demand urgent attention of governments and world leaders. According to the 2017 International Narcotics Control Board’s (INCB) reports launched in March 2018, Member States had reported 796 new substances, a steady increase from the 739 substances reported the previous year. Countries are daily confronted with new substances of abuse that are not under international control but are potentially addictive.

He progressed, “Also of importance is the emergence of Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories in some countries including Nigeria, where between 2011 and 2018, NDLEA discovered 15 of such laboratories in three states in Nigeria. This development is worrisome as high-risk sexual practices linked with the use of stimulant drugs (e.g. amphetamine-type substances, cocaine, and new psychoactive substances) among sub-groups of key populations is also indicated in the spread of HIV in addition to injective drug use”.

Abdallah commended the organizers of the training which is set to last for nine days. He empathized that the timing was perfect as there has been a continuous increase in the wrong usage of drugs in Nigeria in recent. He clarified that such training will go a long way to improve the situation.

Also expressing his support for the training, Dr. Akanidomo Ibanga, the National Project Officer for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, said, “when practitioners who are in the field are trained, they will then be commissioned to implement the programme and report back, as well as monitoring the effect of this programme .”

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