Drug Abuse: Pharmacists commence controlled dispensing of drugs In Kwara
At the Ilorin Shopping Mall, a boy of about 15 years recently defied protocol at the paying point, and when challenged, he threatened to stab his challengers with bottles, until he was overpowered by the security personnel on duty.
In the same vein, a Senior Secondary School Student (SSS) in one of the post primary institutions in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, recently went berserk running after some of his colleagues with clubs. But timely intervention of many of his colleagues saved what could have caused probable death or injuries to unsuspecting students of the school.
The above two incidents according to The Guardian sources in Ilorin, were later linked with alleged influence of drug abuse by the characters involved.
The development is already creating more awareness among pharmacists in the State under the aegis of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN) and Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, (ACPN). According to the immediate past chairman of the (PSN) in the State, Abdulmajeed Oderinde, members of the association have resolved to commence “controlled dispensing of drugs” especially drugs being abused by the youths.
According to Oderinde: “We have instructed all our members to dispense drugs to the youths only with doctors’ prescriptions, most especially, drugs that are being abused by them. Every drug is a poison when wrongly used. Besides, we need to contribute our quota to sanitising the society.”
For the ACPN Chairman in Kwara, Babatunde Samuel: “We have instructed all our members not to sell Tramadol or Codeine indiscriminately. Before the youths started the abuse of the drugs, we used to sell them without doctor’s prescriptions. But at present, due to the abuse, we sell purely on the prescriptions of the doctors.”
“No law ordinarily prevents us from selling, but we need to contribute our quota to the development of our nation. We had some bitter experiences with some of these youths when we told them that we would not sell the identified drugs to them. They came back to beat up some of our pharmacists. Therefore, if we discovered the tendency to abuse the drug in them we would simply tell them the drug is out of stock to save our heads.”
Samuel added that the local ACPN has sponsored some jingles on the state and privately-owned radio stations on the inherent dangers of abuse of drugs. Besides, he said: “The association would very soon commence a 13-week Radio Talk Show to enlighten the youths on the need to shun abuse of drugs.”
The State Police Command, while narrating their concerns over the development, believed that the vice among some of the youths could not be divorced from the prevalence of violent crimes among them in the recent times.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command Ajayi Okasanmi, the influence of drugs on the youth is responsible for their involvements in vices such as robberies, thuggery, and cultism.
He said: “In Kwara it is a common knowledge that crime rate is very low when compared to what is obtainable elsewhere. We would have been talking of almost zero crime rate in the State, if not for some of these youths. In fact, over 90 per cent of crimes committed in the State, according to our records, are through the nefarious activities of these youths.”
“When you see them in operations you will not believe that persons of such age group could be so daring. They could kill, shoot or maim their victims at will. They often engage our men in exchange of firepower, but when they are caught, you will see them behaving like chicken without liver. By this time, the effects of the drugs on them have subsided. It will even be difficult in some cases to establish a nexus between them and the crimes if you are inexperienced.”
Recently, the Police combed some dens of Indian hemp smokers in some parts of Ilorin, made arrests and in the process reduced the population of touts and social miscreants in the town and its adjoining settlements.
Besides, the resurgence of men of the NDLEA on strategic road networks in the state has made interconnectivity cumbersome for the drug abuse gangs.
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