Some concerned residents of Agbor, Owa, Umunede and Abavo have condemned the increasing rate of drug abuse in their localities and environs among adolescents.
Those who spoke described the issue as alarming, urging government and other related authorities to curb the menace before it gets out of hand.
Pastor Andy Imafidon said that drug abuse among teenagers was an issue that must be taken seriously, blaming it on their ignorance and naivety.
“Most of them are lured or compelled to do drugs without knowing the consequences.
“Many of them have become addicts by bowing to peers pressure. Some of them have discovered virtually every substance both edible and non-edible that stimulates or makes them high.
“Nowadays, they mix all manner of substances, especially cough syrup. I may not be a medical personnel but I am sure it has grave effects on them and the society in general,” he warned.
On his part, a medical practitioner, Mr Uche Asiwe, disclosed that the number of adolescents indulging in hard drugs in the locality was disturbing.
“After taking drugs, they will start chanting that school is a scam.
“The effects of hard drugs are unpredictable because many of the victims have developed the habit of mixing different kinds of drugs to get to their desired altitude,” Asiwe said.
While saying that using nicotine during adolescence can cause harm to the brain, the medical practitioner stressed that it could increase the risks of being addicted to other substances.
Also speaking, Venerable Vincent Etumudor advocated that government at all levels should clamp down on all hard drug dealers and their collaborators in the locality.
“As a teacher and a father, it is really disturbing and painful to watch our children trapped in an unwholesome way of life that will lead nowhere.
“The criminal activities in the locality are not unconnected to the increasing wave of drug abuse.
“Many of them have also found themselves in jail and hospitals after taking such drugs,” Etumudor said.
He urged governments, non-government organisations (NGOs) and well-meaning individuals to partner in the fight against drug abuse among the youth.
“I will use this medium to call on religious leaders to always make out time to speak against this menace that is gaining ground in society.
“Voluntary and religious organisations should also use strategic and public enlightenment measures to discourage adolescents and youths from drug abuse,” he said
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