The Association of Community Pharmacists (Lagos State Chapter) recently once again took a stand against the indiscriminate use of drugs. This time they had a walk against drug abuse at the busy Ikotun area of Lagos.
The walk initiated to mark the ACPN day of the Pharmacy week, a yearly event was organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter). During this week, all the technical arms of PSN are given the opportunity to host a public awareness event to sensitise the public on relevant health issues.
This year, the theme for the week was “Drug Abuse and Misuse: Threat to National Development”. ACPN had the sub theme “Community Pharmacists: Promoting Responsible Drug Use”.
Speaking on the reason behind the theme and the location for the walk, Pharm. Benedict Obideyi, Chairman ACPN Lagos Chapter told PharmaTimes that it was important for Community pharmacists to run with this theme due to the current overwhelming trend of drug abuse and misuse in the country. He went further to explain that Ikotun was a prime location for the advocacy walk this year because it has a huge population that consists of people from various ethnic groups. He stated that if they could reach such a large audience and influence towards medicine use positively, then they would have scored a big hit in the fight against drug abuse.
The ACPN Chairman also said that while regulation has remained a major issue in the fight against drug abuse, public awareness could not be overlooked. He explained that many people that abuse drugs do so ignorantly without any knowledge of the debilitating effect it has on their lives and families. He urged members from all spheres of the society to unite in this fight against drug abuse. He also called on the Lagos State government to not rest on its oars, but keep pushing on in the fight by putting all available resources to work in creating public awareness on drug abuse.
Pharm. Fazazeez Toafeek, the zonal coordinator ACPN Ikotun Zone, expressed delight over his zone being a location for the advocacy walk stating that everywhere in Nigeria is at risk of drug abuse and Ikotun is not left out. He explained that the Ikotun area has a population that is vulnerable and that they have seen quite a number of people engaging in the nefarious act of drug abuse or misuse. He stated that while the community pharmacists in the zone have been doing quite a lot to sensitise the populace, the advocacy walk by the state chapter is bound to lead to better results.
Pharm. Biola Paul-Ozieh, immediate past chairman of the association who was also at the event urged parents and guardians to pay close attention to their children/ wards. She stated that these children were first and foremost the responsibility of their parents and that they should not pawn them off to other people. She encouraged parents to be in the know when it comes to the kind of friends that their children keep and the parties that they attend as most young people are lured into drug abuse through peer pressure.