Patent medicine dealers seek stakeholders’ support in fight against drug abuse

The Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED), on Wednesday, called for stakeholders’ support toward tackling drug abuse, especially among youths.

The National Ambassador of the association, Mr. Vincent Mamah, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said tackling drug abuse among  youths through sensitisation would go a long way toward reducing crime in the society.

He said sensitising youths to the dangers of drug abuse would be NAPPMED’s way of complementing Federal Government’s efforts at nurturing vibrant young people for the future.

On what constitutes drug abuse, he said “drug abuse is not just taking ordinary drugs; it is taking illicit substances such as narcotics, which are not meant to be used just like that, but highly prescriptive in nature.

“So, drug abuse is basically the use of drugs without medical prescription.’’

Mamah, who is also the immediate past national president of the association, said it was in a bid to contribute its quota to tackling drug abuse, especially as a body of patent medicine dealers that NAPPMED decided to hold an event to educate the public about the dangers of drug abuse.

He added that “the association in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, in conjunction FCT chapter, will from Nov. 17 to 18, 2021 embark on sensitisation against drug abuse because of the dangers inherent in it.

“We have lots of young people – school leavers and jobless youths everywhere and we have decided to hold the event in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State because 70 per cent of the workforce in the Federal Capital Territory resides in this area.

“Some who do not have meaningful jobs to do join other jobless youths and engage in drug abuse, hence the need for the sensitisation.”

According to him, the sensitisation will address a lot of misconceptions about the patent medicine sub-sector of the healthcare industry.

He said the fact that patent medicine stores could be easily accessed should not make the public to assume that all sorts of drugs could be sold there.

He spoke on how the association checks quackery in patent medicine practice, noting that “we
have a regulatory mechanism for checking professionalism of members and ensure they adhere strictly to principles guiding patent medicine operations as prescribed by law.

“Illicit drugs have attendant consequences, such as completely taking somebody out of human reasoning and influencing them to do dangerous and unacceptable things.

“Some attributes of the influence of illicit drugs include over-speeding or recklessness among motorists, burglary, rape and banditry, among other criminal acts.

Mamah said “NAPPMED is also making arrangements to work with organisations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Society for Family Health for successful sensitization.

Others include the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force. (NAN)

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