Treat drug dealers like criminals

In Nigeria, the cosmetic approach of always treating the symptoms rather than the disease has created more problems than solutions in the fight against drug abuse and addiction. The failure to deploy sustainable holistic approach to tackle drug abuse and addiction from the source keeps impacting our society negatively. It is, therefore, imperative for all concerned and well-meaning Nigerians to address this ravaging challenge of drug abuse in our society today by providing a lasting solution as a matter of national urgency and emergency.

Drugs are meant to change the state or function of the body. The misuse of, or overindulgence in drugs, is called drug abuse. To abuse a drug is to use it for non-medical purpose, or to take an overdose of the prescription. Dealers and distributors of illicit drugs are to be treated as criminals, while the users, being the addicts are the victims. The government should establish more drug addict treatment facilities, which will cater for the reorientation, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts in the society.

With prevention and treatment techniques, drug addiction is controllable, treatable and reversible. Societal stigmas toward drug addicts must be stopped. Addicts undergoing rehabilitation should be lovingly embraced by the society to avoid discrimination, feelings of guilt, shame, rejection and possible relapse.

There must be collaboration of all the segments of the society to address this drug challenge. Parents, guardians, schools, government, health care providers, non-governmental organisations, pharmaceutical industries and media houses have huge roles to play in order to curb the menace of drug abuse. When all hands are on deck, this huge challenge of drug addiction and abuse in the country becomes surmountable.

Kayode Ojewale can be reached via:


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