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Federal Government Must Do More Than Baning Codeine To Address Drug Abuse – Convener of Step up Foundation, Olabisi Hawwau

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Federal Government Must Do More Than Baning Codeine To Address Drug Abuse – Convener of Step up Foundation, Olabisi Hawwau

Government should identify the root cause of drug abuse and create standard rehabilitation centers to arrest the menace – Convener of Step up Foundation, Olabisi Hawwau

The prevalence of drug abuse has become a cankerworm which had eaten deep in the lives of many youths and adults in our society today. Drug Abuse simply means the wrong use or misuse of drugs without or against a physician prescriptions.

Efforts to bring this menace under control led Step Up Foundation, a non-governmental organization to stage a 30 days rigorous social media campaign to fight against drug abuse.  Different personalities and NGOs are making waves in health sector, legal sector, broadcast media, humanitarianism, and to mention but few had joined hands together to Step Up Against Drug Abuse.

In a short interview with the founder of Step Up Foundation, Olatunde Olabisi Hawwau who is a student, a proven child advocate and motivational speaker, speaks on the grand finale of the 30 days media campaign against drug abuse which started on 7th May – 5th June, 2018.

What inspired the 30 days media campaign tagged StepUpAgainstDrugAbuse?

The inspiration behind this campaign was my encounter with a very young lady taking marijuana and a recent documentary on codeine diet.  I was poignant and disturbed to witness the derailing path which our promising youths most especially have embarked on. Then I realized that social media is a strong tool in the hands of Nigerian Youths of which I can adopt this medium to reach out to people on the effects and defects of drug abuse. This is also to make everyone see that it is a collective effort to curb this menace.

What do you aim to achieve on this campaign?

Our aim on this campaign is to influence the youths and everyone engaging in the misuse of drugs on the reasons they need to see beyond their limitations and despise  drug abuse. Also, to encourage parents and guardians on proper and adequate care for their children. And most importantly, we aim to have a society free of drug abuse.

Do you think we can achieve a society free of drug abuse?

Yes, absolutely we can. As I earlier said it is a collective effort. If all hands are on deck, it will be a win battle.

What have been the reactions of people towards this campaign?

Wow! The reactions have been great and mind blowing. People are sharing with us their stories of how they overcome addiction which served as a reference tool to in further pursues.   Meanwhile, several NGOs such as Brain Builders International, Train A Girl initiative TAG, Acalpha initiative, Medglobe volunteers, and important personalities home and abroad collaborated with us to reach out to a wider population in order to ensure that this campaign achieves its aim.

Any positive achievements on this campaign so far?

I will say the achievements have really been positive and I am very sure the messages were well received by the society which we believe have impacted them into self-discoveries to achieve their goals and aspiration.

Following the steps government had taken already, what more do you think the government can do to curb this menace?

Thank you for this question. Apart from placing a ban on codeine and closing Emzor and other pharmaceutical companies, there are more government needs to do as regarding this issue. You will agree with me that, it is not only codeine that is being abused and as well not only these closed down companies are producing element of substances that can be abused.

Government needs to trace the root of this matter. Why are youth engaging in this? We need a standard rehabilitation centers where youths who have been defaulted as a result of drugs intake would be properly taken care of so as to restore their hopes.

The institutions saddled with the responsibilities to regulate and control drug distributions should ensure that anyone caught in an unlawful distribution of drugs or possession is sanctioned and prosecuted.

Furthermore, the government should enforce a tight security on borders to avoid importation of drugs so that smuggling of harmful substances can be curtailed.

Consequently, it is everybody’s responsibility, the government, youths, parents, and all stakeholders to see this as a threat to us all and be ready to channel efforts to fight against it.

Your parting words for everyone to Step Up Against Drug Abuse

My parting words to everyone engaging in drug abuse is that, do you want people to see you and feel reluctant to associate with you due to how drugs have offensively reshaped your life? I am very sure you wouldn’t want that. Or you want people to always wish to be like you as a result of the choices you made to have a better life? You choose what you want to become in life and whatever you choose determines your success or doom. The pleasure of abusing drugs can only last for 24hours or less but its effects last for a very long time.

We need sane heads as leaders in our society. Therefore, choose and thread wisely. Let us all Step Up Against Drug Abuse and Substances.

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