June 26 every year is the ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’. This year, AHAPN National marked the event with an online panel discussion.
The virtual conference was declared opened by the PSN Present Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa FPSN, MON, OFR, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion.
The panelists were led by Dr. Lolu Ojo FPSN, FPCPharm, the CEO of Merit Healthcare LTD, other panelists included Prof. Issa Baba Awoye a Consultant Psychiatrist of the Department of Behavioural Sciences, UITH, Ilorin, Pharm Mrs. Mewu-Umeche Chinenye, of the Federal Neuropsychiatrist Hospital Yaba Lagos and Mr. Ambrose Umoru CN, the Kwara State Commander NDLEA, Kwara State Command.
The Conference which was highly educative and very enlightening was well attended by One hundred and forty participants which included the Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists, Pharmacists of other technical groups and well-wishers.
The theme for the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking “Better Knowledge for Better Care” emphasizes the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and how in turn, better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Dr. Lolu Ojo FPSN, FPCPharm, the Lead Panelist.
1. Conference restated the need to implement the 2020-2024 Nigeria’s National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) which aimed at strengthening responses to illicit drug use in order to contribute to the enhanced health, security and well-being of all Nigerians.
2. Conference decried the unavailability and accessibility of drug treatment services in the country as well as lack of affordable evidence-based treatment for people with drug use disorders
3. Conference called for the availability of pain medication for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion and misuse, as well as their illicit production or availability in the illicit market.
4. Conference urged NDLEA to implement intelligence led policing model targeting mid- to -high level traffickers to bolster effective drug supply suppression.
5. Conference observed that the problem of substance uses and substance use disorder is real, it is a pandemic problem and all countries, regions and territories are affected including Nigeria.
6. Conference therefore recommended that Countries, territories, states, communities, associations/unions, individuals should work assiduously and collaboratively to increase the understanding of the knowledge about substance use disorders. And that better knowledge of the aetiology, epidemiology, myths and facts as well as complications of drug abuse is necessary.
As better knowledge leads to better understanding; better understanding leads to better care
Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Amibor PharmD, MPH, FPCPharm
National Chairman AHAPN