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DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION ACTIVITIES
In 1989, the Federal Military Government enacted Decree 48 now Cap N30 Law of the federation establishing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The Agency is charged with the dual responsibility of reducing the supply and demand for drugs.
The Federal Government of Nigeria appreciates the fact that supply reduction efforts alone cannot solve the drug problem, hence the emphasis on Demand Reduction. The Drug Reduction Directorate is charge with the responsibility of reducing the demand for illicit drugs.
At the inception of the Agency, the Drug Demand Reduction Directorate was known and referred to as the Counseling Unit. This former name was considered inappropriate as it referred to just an aspect of the functions and statutory responsibility of the Directorate. Consequent upon this, the Units’ name was changed to Drug Demand Reduction Directorate encompassing all the activities of the Directorate. The Drug Demand Reduction Directorate is charged with the responsibility of reducing the demand for illicit drugs.
To achieve the lofty objectives, the Drug Demand Reduction Directorate is divided into three (3) units namely:
1. Drug Abuse Preventive Education
2. Treatment and Rehabilitation
3. Research and NGO Liaison
A.DRUG ABUSE PREVENTIVE EDUCATION
unit the following intervention
1. Drug Abuse Education: This is geared towards providing factual information and learning experiences on drug problems. To this end, NDLEA in conjunction with NERDC has concluded the development of preventive drug education curriculum and infused its content into relevant school subjects at various levels of learning (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary) while the implementation is in progress. The essence of preventive education in schools is to encourage children to recognize the benefits of adopting drug free and healthy life style and to provide them with necessary skills to be able to resist pressures to take drugs.
Besides, the NDLEA has launched the formation of drug free clubs in Secondary School in Nigeria so as to promote alternative activities to drug involvement by students and to encourage the application of life coping skills.
PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS
3. COMMUNITY MOBILIZE TION
This approach aims at involving community groups in drug abuse and trafficking prevention. It involves the use of traditional rulers, community/opinion leaders, youth leaders, religious leaders, professional bodies, voluntary organizations, NGOs etc to campaign against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. Community resources are mobilized towards prevention and social integration programmes.
B. TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION
It is in line with the statutory responsibility of the Agency that the Treatment and Rehabilitation unit in the Drug Demand Reduction Directorate was created. The
treatment, just like NGOs, CBOs and others.
Drug Rehabilitation is predicated on the need to provide help to identified as drug dependent persons. Drug Dependency is a public health problem that impacts negatively on the soci multiple levels. This could be directly or indirectly and community, family, individual is affected in one way or the other.
There are four major Treatment /rehabilitation methods in use in Nigeria, namely:
Non-Governmental Based Treatment/Rehabilitation
Community Based Treatment/Rehabilitation
Hospital based Treatment/Rehabilitation
Religious/Faith Based Treatment/Rehabilitation
It is important to note that no single method is perfect in handling a drug dependent person, hence, the adoption of electic approach/method.
The Agency’s Treatment/Rehabilitation services are available in the 36 State Commands including FCT, Abuja.
C. RESEARCH AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISA TIQN LIAISON
Researches are carried out on the trends, patterns and prevalence of drug abuse problems among different target groups. These researches include school survey, hospital survey, trafficking survey and others. Data is collected from suspected traffickers in NDLEA pre-trial cells and drug abusers on admission in treatment centres across the country. The data collated is analyzed and produced as annual research report on drug abuse and trafficking. These reports are distributed to relevant Governmental, Non-Governmental, International Organizations, Corporate bodies and Individuals involved in drug abuse and trafficking prevention in Nigeria. The reports from the studies serve as base line data in designing appropriate intervention measures for Nigeria. This Unit equally liaises with Non-Governmental Organisations by supervising and monitoring their drug abuse activities and programmes within the country.