The Yobe state Commander National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Apeh Reuben, has frowned on the dangerous methodologies used by patents medicine stores to deliberately contribute to drug abuse in the state.
Commander Reuben noted that it was most unfortunate that patent medicine stores which have all the limitations and stipulations attached to their existence concerning abused drugs were involved in destroying young people of Yobe state.
The commander expressed the worry during a one-day sensitization programme in which his agency collaborated with the Nigeria Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers, NAPPMED, to sensitize and reduce abuse among young people and women in Yobe South Senatorial District of the State over the weekend.
The one-day sensitization programme which was organized at the state zonal Information office in Potiskum town attracted participants from Fika, Fune, Nangere, Potiskum and Jakusko local government areas respectively.
In his paper titled ‘Role of NAPPMED in combatting Drug Abuse in Yobe state, Commander Reuben represented by the area Commander Buddu Musa said that his agency will not stand by and watch those drug shops continue to destroy people but will surely come after them with the full force of the law.
Principal Staff Officer in charge of Drug Demand Reduction, DDR, Salele Abdulaziz, also present said drug abuse and illicit trafficking poses a great danger to the socio-economic and political well being of the entire human race especially now that agile young men and women are involved in crimes under the influence of Drug.
“the most disturbing development is the active involvement of the Youth in the consumption of this chemical substances. Those who take drugs are misinformed or insufficiently aware of the health risk involved. Young people always talk about the high induced by the drugs but may not be aware of the lows.” He regretted.
Salele further revealed that strangely, many Patent Medicine Stores (PMS) in Yobe state now engage in dispensing controlled, banned and even hard drugs to our young men and women without considering the implications of such act.
“They disregard the guidelines of interaction between them and their clients on drug choice, consultation about illness and instruction regarding drug administration.” He noted.
According to him the consequences of drug abuse includes; armed robbery and stealing, destitution, prostitution, rape, increase of mad people on our streets, uneducated youths, broken homes, HIV/AIDS patients, loss of jobs, expulsion from schools, increased prisoners into our prison yards, political thuggery and hooliganism, killing, murder, insurgency and more patients in psychiatric hospitals.
Speaking further, the Command exhibit Keeper, Abdullahi Ringim stated that they have made seizures of a large quantity of illicit drugs from erring couriers who the legal Officer, Umar Useini assured will surely pay for what they sow.
Responding, the Chairman of the NAPPMED, Potiskum Chapter, Alhaji Garba Ahlil Bait, thanked NDLEA for the enlightenment and training given to the members of the association pledging that they would use the knowledge acquired in the discharge of their legitimate businesses accordingly.
He expressed assurances that NAPPMED plays an important role in saving innocent lives of the people as the majority of people depend on them to access drugs when they are ill.
“we contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the State. If we didn’t sell some of the drugs, the mortality rate would be high in the state, most of us operating here are highly educated and experienced, like me I obtained 25 different certificates of training from respective organizations.” He posited.
Most PMS’S in the northeast region has been involved in the contribution to high mortality rates among women and children who use them as the first line of treatment when they are ill instead of first going to the hospital for diagnosis.
As a matter of fact, because of the high illiteracy rate in the northeast, most chemist shop owners are called “likita” meaning doctor in Hausa making them superhumans who have the cure to anything above the real doctors in the hospitals which the poorest of the poor avoid due to consultation fees.