The Federal Government has cautioned manufacturers against producing substandard drugs to curb addiction and drug-related issues in the country.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who stated this in a message to a summit organised by Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Enugu Chapter, in Enugu yesterday, represented by a director in the ministry, Dr. Salaudeen Jimoh, said substandard drugs pose serious security and health hazards.
According to him, those abusing drugs cannot be called criminals but those who sell and manufacture drugs beyond the recommended standard are the criminals.
"When a large number of people are now involved in substance abuse, the security of the state and the nation at large will be in trouble.
"The state of the nation will be in trouble, and the health of the nation will also be in trouble," he said.
The minister said war against illicit drug and abuse should be a collective effort of all Nigerians because it could lead to social vices like kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism.
Besides, Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Enugu State, Mr. Anthony Ohanyere, expressed worry over abuse of not only illicit drugs, but also normal drugs.
Ohanyere noted that drugs, considered naturally to be useful to life and unavoidable in sustaining life, were now being combined to produce negative results.
He said the war against such vices was not government responsibility alone but a collective effort of all and sundry.
Also, the South-East Zonal Director of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs. Ojetokun Olajumoke, said substance abuse constituted social economic problems.
She said the agency had intensified efforts at making sure narcotics drugs were made available to only scientific and medical offices.
Meanwhile, the Registrar of PCN, Dr. N.A. Mohammed, represented by the Director, Planning and Research, Babashehu Ahmed, said the Federal Government in collaboration with the council set up a codeine control and other related matters committee.
Mohammed said the committee, which comprised agencies such as NAFDAC, NDLEA, UNODC, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders would find lasting solution and recommendations to substance abuse.
Ahmed said one of the recommendations of the committee was sensitisation, adding that Enugu State was the only state in Nigeria to have implemented such recommendation through the organisation of a roundtable discussion on substance abuse.