By Abiodun Azi
Asaba – The Delta State Government on Tuesday identified parental negligence as a leading cause of drug abuse among youths.
The state Commissioner for Health, Mr Ononye Mordi, said this in Asaba during the “United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking”.
Mordi was represented by Mrs Kate Ekonye, a director in the Ministry of Health.
Mordi said that the theme of the day: “Listening to children and youths is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe” was apt.
The commissioner said that lack of parental love and care in modern family setting where there were working class parents was a major militating factor.
He also said that the decrease in religious and moral values had led to an increased in the number of drug addicts.
Such people used to administer drugs on themselves to escape the hard realities of life, he said.
He said that drug abuse occurred when a person maintained a consistent pattern in the use of a drug beyond what was recommended.
The commissioner said that there were many dangers inherent in drug abuse.
He listed them to include physical and physiological addiction, change in brain chemistry function and finally death.
Mordi said that the Delta State Government was putting efforts in place to stop this menance through enlightment, advocacy visits and training for its youths.
Earlier, Mr Dennis Obiefule, the Delta State Commandant of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said that many factors were responsible for drug abuse.
Obiefule said that all hands must be on deck to educate many people who were ignorant of the problems.
He said that the NDLEA was doing its best in Delta to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers and destroy farms that grow the plants.
He said that the NDLEA in the state also had its own challenges which include logistics and operational vehicles.