By Bitrus Osagie
The Association of Professional Counsellors in Nigeria (APROCON), Gombe State chapter, has begun sensitisation activities to create awareness on dangers of drug abuse.
Our correspondent reports that the exercise is part of the series of activities to mark the association’s maiden counseling week in the state.
Dr Sani Yauta, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Gombe State University, who spoke on Monday at the inauguration of the exercise, said the fight against drug abuse require a collective efforts.
He said drug abuse has become a major challenge for all stakeholders in the state, hence should be tackled through proper counselling.
According to Yauta, lack of effective counselling unit in secondary schools and tertiary institutions contributed to the spate of the menace.
He expressed happiness over APROCON advocacy and awareness creation campaign against drug abuse.
“The campaign will enlighten our youths on drug abuse, its effect and how addicts can be helped through effective counselling to ensure a drug-free society.” he said.
The university, he said, had put in place proactive measures to ensure sustained advocacy against drug abuse amongst students.
The Chairperson of APROCON, Dr Habiba Isah, said that drug abuse has been a source of concern to stakeholders in view of its negative effects on the youths.
Isah said the association had embarked on campaign against the menace, adding that it would engage selected tertiary institutions to discourage drug abuse in the state.
Isah, who is also the Head of Department, Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education of the university, said there was a connection between school drop-outs and drug abuse.
According to her, drug abuse robs students of their abilities to achieve academic excellence and become responsible members of the society.
“We need our youths to contribute in nation building but if they engaged in drugs, how will the future looks like?
“We are embarking on aggressive advocacy and counselling to discourage youths and children from drug abuse and we will give effective counselling to those on rehabilitation to help them.”
She said that APROCON was working with relevant government agencies and other stakeholders involved in drug distribution and sales, to ensure a collective effort towards tackling the menace.
She advised parents and schools in the state to be vigilant and monitor behaviour change in their wards.
Also speaking, Mr Salisu Abdulazeez, Chairman, Gombe State Chapter of the Nigerian Association of Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPMED), commended APROCON for organising the exercise.
Abdulazeez said the association had set up a taskforce to seize illicit drugs from its members.
Our correspondent reports that the theme of the week-long event is “Behavior Modification to the Menace of Drug Abuse in our Society”.
Highlights of the event included paper presentations by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), among others.