Crystal meth: Reps call for Marshall plan against widespread abuse of drugs by youths, families

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…How NDLEA is overwhelmed, needs adequate logistics support.

The House of Representatives on Thursday raised alarm over the rising widespread abuse of dangerous drugs by youths in the country.

It noted that almost all the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria were currently battling the abuse of one form or a set of dangerous drugs.

In the case of the South-East, the abuse of Methamphetamine or Crystal meth by youths was cited as an example of a growing threat to the future of the country.

Crystal meth, though an old drug, has been nicknamed ‘Mkpuru Mmiri’ in the South-East and is abused by a lot of youths.

According to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the abuse of Crystal meth is sending young Nigerians to their early graves.

A member from Imo State, Rep. Henry Nwawuba, moved a motion on the floor of the House in Abuja on Thursday, urging members to treat the issue as a matter of urgent public importance.

House Deputy Speaker, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase, presided over the proceedings in the absence of the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Nwawuba said the highly addictive drug had negative effects on the lives of 75% of users, making them useless to themselves and the society at large.

He added that side effects included mood alteration, the exhibition of violent behaviours and even death.

“It has a powerful euphoric effect comparable to that of Cocaine.

“This drug nicknamed mkpuru mmiri in the South East is gradually destroying our youths.

“There are laws in this country to control drug abuse and trafficking. Regulatory agencies, and particularly the NDLEA, should step up their control and sensitisation mechanisms”, the Imo lawmaker stated.

Deputy House Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, recommended that urgent steps should be taken to identify the local manufacturers and marketers of Crystal meth in Nigeria for immediate prosecution.

Besides mkpuru mmiri, Okechukwu noted that Nigeria had become plagued by the abuse of many hard drugs, a problem he said required concerted efforts to tackle holistically.

He stated, “What we should be concerned about is who are the manufacturers of this drug (Crystal meth) in Nigeria; who are the marketers?

“We have to get the drug out of society completely. The NDLEA must rise up to the occasion.

“Aside from Crystal meth, there is Codeine, Tramadol abuse, among other harmful substances widely used in this country today.”

Making a similar contribution, the Chairman, House Committee on Army, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, drew a link between drug abuse and the insecurity upsurges in Nigeria, a fact he said the NDLEA itself had since acknowledged.

Namdas observed that the war against drug abuse, trafficking or manufacturing was beyond the capacity of NDLEA alone to wage.

He spoke more, “There has to be a synergy among all the security agencies to jointly attack the problem.

“We are talking about the youths; have we forgotten that many adults also abuse these drugs?

“The problem is bigger than just saying the youths. If adults or your parents abuse drugs in your presence, you may not see anything wrong with doing the same thing yourself.”

Among other prayers, the House called for a Marshall plan to fight drug abuse, the raiding of the local manufacturing plants by a combined team of the NDLEA and other security agencies as well as increasing the budget of the NDLEA to enable the agency to function more efficiently.

The motion was passed in a unanimous voice vote.