In a bid to scale up campaign against illicit drug use, misuse and abuse, a situation which is fast becoming worrisome, especially amongst teenagers in recent time, the Lagos state government through the Ministry of Youth and Social Development (MYSD) is taking sensitization programme to schools in order to eradicate the menace in all its forms.
The ministry also said that as part of efforts to contain the decadence, proper regulation of the music industry to discourage indecent lyrics and videos – capable of promoting the menace, as well as elimination of miscreants within and around school environments, would be enforced.
Addressing a press conference in Alausa to herald the sensitization programme, which would be held at the state’s three senatorial districts, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, noted that the risk of a child becoming drug abuser is evident at different stages in his /her life.
She said early risk for instance such as out-of-control aggressive behaviour, could lead to additional risks – when the child gets into school, if not addressed through positive parental actions.
The commissioner also noted that while in school, a child’s aggressive behaviour could lead to rejection by peers, punishment by teachers and academic failure, stressing that if not addressed through preventive interventions, the risks “can lead to the most immediate behaviour that puts a child at risk for drug abuse such as skipping school and associating with peers who abuse drugs.”
Akinbile-Yussuf said according to studies, children with poor academic performance and inappropriate social behaviour at ages 7-9 are more likely to be involved with substance abuse by age 14 or 15, adding that the development could culminate into criminal acts.
And while noting that many efforts have been put in place towards curbing the menace and other social vices, the commissioner charged parents and other stakeholders to join hands with the government to stamp out the menace.
“The Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Youth and Social Development had constructed youth centres and playgrounds across the state for various youth empowerment and recreation activities. We also collaborate with other ministries to promote information and education on the danger inherent in drug abuse.
“The government has provided suggestion boxes to all the six districts and SUBEB to address all social vices among the students and dedicated social workers are also in all in the districts to fight social menace and any form of abuse in schools across the state.”
The commissioner said the need to maintain good family bonding between parents and their children is critical to eradicating the menace, saying that bonding can be strengthened through skills training on parent supportiveness of children, parent-child communication and parent involvement in the sensitization programme.
In his remark, child-against-drug-abuse ambassador and Lead Consultant, JD Consult, Mr Adebowale Baiye charged the government to take concrete step to stop morally corrupt songs and video permeating the country’s music industry, which constitute to the influence of drug abuse in students.