By Ruth Oketunde
Abuja – The Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an NGO, has called on women in Nigeria to use their motherly positions to end drug abuse in the family.
Dr Hope Omeiza, Executive Director of the organisation, said this at a ‘Women and Family Drug Education Programme’ on Wednesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised in collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development.
He said that there was need to increase awareness on the key roles of families in the fight against drug abuse.
He added that the programme was organised to help women and families understand the dynamics of drug use and preventive strategies.
According to Omeiza, early identification of drug use behaviours in children, relatives, friends, and neighbours as well as adverse impacts of drug use on them cannot be overemphasised.
“There is a need to increase awareness on the key roles the family can play in the fight against drug abuse.
“This is because problematic drug use by one or more family members has a huge impact on the entire family unit.
“Unfortunately, most drug treatment regimens are incomprehensive and usually tend to focus on the person dependent on drugs, without providing sufficient attention and care to the overall family’s problems.
“The family can help by preventing problematic drug use, assisting and improving the drug use outcome for those who are dependent and helping to reduce the negative effects of drug use problems in family members.
“Women in Africa, unlike men, are the builders of the home and we believe we can send this message to the families through them,” he said.
In his remarks, Sen Hezekiah Dimka, Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, said that families play a key role in the use and misuse of substance.
Dimka, who was represented by Mr Micheal Opaluwa, added that the best way to tackle the menace was through prevention and education.
“The best way to achieve success is through the family which is the first agent of socialisation,” he said.