The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has expressed concern over the increasing rate of drug and substance abuse, particularly among youth in the South-West, especially in Lagos and Oyo States.
The Principal Staff Officer in charge of Treatment and Rehabilitation, NDLEA, Oyo State Command, Titilope Asiru, said this in her presentation in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Speaking at a drug-free symposium organized for secondary school students by Ayo Fatokun Foundation in collaboration with Psychid Foundation; Konymandibio Foundation and JOCHJED Foundation, the NDLEA said the drug use prevalence in Lagos and Oyo States stood at 33 and 23 per cent respectively.
She said, “The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently released the national drug use survey in Nigeria which shows drug abuse prevalence rate in the South West zone as very high.
“Oyo State, with 23 percent prevalence rate, is occupying second position in the region while Lagos State which has 33 per cent prevalence rate occupies the first position in drug abuse in South-West.
“This is a national emergency that requires the support of members of the society.”
Asiru said tackling the problem should be seen as the responsibility of everybody.
The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Abiodun Abdulraheem, warned youths and students in the state to shun drugs, saying their future could be destroyed if they allowed themselves to be lured into taking illicit substances.
The commissioner, whose speech was read at the symposium by the Local Inspector of Education, Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, Victoria Oloyede, called on members of the public to support the state government by organising sensitisation programmes.