Combating medicine abuse in schools
This was the consensus at a six-day training of the first batch of Principals of Lagos State on the “Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC) for Substance Use Disorders” held at Lagos State Model College, Meiran, Agbado.
Speaking at the event, National Co-ordinator, (UPC) and founder, Global Initiative on Substance Abuse (GISA), Dr. Martin Agwogie said such officers will be adequately trained on how to develop and implement evidence based substance abuse interventions in their respective schools.
“This will go a long way in addressing the drug problems among the school age population in Lagos state thereby setting the pace for other states in the country to emulate,” he said. He said the training came at an opportune time, as the trend in substance abuse among youths in the country has become worrisome.
Agwogie said: “Report from the 2018 national drug use survey shows that Lagos state has the highest number of persons who use drugs in Nigeria. This calls for urgent steps among stakeholders. This is not the time to sit on the fence. We must all rise to address this issue frontally to safeguard the future of the younger generation.”
Permanent Secretary, Education District 1, Lagos State, Dr. Yinka Ayandele pointed out that the advocacy will be taken beyond school principals to the parents and communities. She said the aim is to ensure that all hands are on deck towards the eradication of drug abuse in the state. Convener of the training and founder, Isaac Adetolu Foundation, Mr. Olatunde Isaac Adetolu, said the programme was undertaken to provide stakeholders with the evidence based prevention intervention theories and skills of what to do with drug abuse, which is fast becoming a national phenomenon and if not contained can lead to a national disaster.
Principal, Ifesowapo-Aboru Junior Secondary School, Aboru, Lagos, Mr. Bunmi Oyesanya said with the training, teachers would now be on top of the situation and be more conversant with drugs students are taking, know why they are taking it and how to prevent the abuse of drugs.
He said the knowledge must be pass on to parents so that they will be able to educate their wards better. Oyesanya warned the youth to desist from substances abuse saying it good for them and may mar their future.
The Universal Prevention Curriculum is one of the three Curricula developed by US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme of Sri Lanka, the Board of Trustees, Global Initiative on Substance Abuse (GISA) and Isaac Adetolu Foundation.