Aside from the adverse effects drugs have on users, substance abuse is one of the major causes of crime such as theft, burglary, sex work, shoplifting, and even murder in extreme cases. The issue of drug abuse is a social vice endangering the lives of citizens, causing insecurity and hindering the economic growth of a country.
While organisations like MTN Foundation are speaking up against the menace through the Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), it is important for individuals to know that creating a drug-free society is everyone’s fight and we all have a part to play.
With 40 per cent of Nigerian youths between the age of 18 – 35 abusing drugs, Atinuke Aduloju, Chief Superintendent of narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said that there is an urgent need for massive sensitization of youths about the dangers of drug abuse.
To join the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria, here are 5 things you can start doing.
Vanguard Against Drug Abuse, and MTN Foundation, through its initiative ASAP, are some of the non-governmental organisations in Nigeria advocating an end to substance abuse. You can also volunteer by getting trained to sensitise young people on the danger of drug abuse or provide free counselling, therapy, or rehabilitation programmes for drug addicts.
- Joining MTN ASAP’s Advocacy Walk
An advocacy walk is a tool used to create awareness about an issue and drive positive behavioural change among people. MTN ASAP have set out June 25, 2022, as a day to organise an advocacy walk to enlighten the masses about how substance use endangers lives and exposes communities to crime. Individuals can join the advocacy walk to lend their voices to the issue of drug abuse and trafficking.
- Being Kind to Drug Addicts
Drug addicts are humans with emotions who also deserve to be shown love and kindness. Some of them became dependent on drugs as a result of parental neglect, low self-esteem, failure, or other cases of abandonment. You can help them out of their addiction by showing them genuine love, speaking to them kindly but assertively without indulging or enabling them to continue taking drugs.
- Helping Them Seek Professional Help
People struggling with substance addiction rarely think they need professional help. You can help them on their drug recovery journey by making them realise the need to see a medical practitioner or begin counselling. Booking their appointment and offering to accompany them to the clinic or therapy sessions goes a long way to encouraging them to shun drug abuse rather than nagging them about it.
- Donating to Anti-Substance Abuse Organisations
Non-governmental organisations always require funds to increase the impact of their campaigns. Donating to NGOs focused on rescuing drug addicts is a helpful way to contribute to the fight against substance abuse. These funds can be used to provide adequate medical facilities, train more volunteers and medical professionals or empower those coming out of addiction.
The lineup of activities during MTN’s ASAP 2022 afford many Nigerians a chance to participate in the fight against substance abuse as they commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (World Drug Day) on June 26, 2022.
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