By Mustapha Sumaila
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has called for the establishment of more rehabilitation centres to cater for drug addicts in the country.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Adeyeye explained that Nigeria had only 10 rehabilitation centres, which was grossly inadequate to rehabilitate drug addicts across the country.
She said that there was the need for government to provide more centres to take care of drug addicts, especially affected youths.
Adeyeye said at least, 10 centres should be built in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The Director-General described the rising cases of abuse of controlled drugs such as tramadol and codeine as unfortunate.
She said that the most commonly abused drugs in the country were tramadol and codeine.
The NAFDAC boss described tramadol as a synthetic opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain and is the most abused medicine among addicts.
She added that its consumption had no effects on the respiratory system but an overdose causes arrhythmias, cramps, coma and death.
“In Nigeria, it is regulated as the 50 and 100mg dosage strengths but very high dosage forms of between 200 and 225mg have infiltrated the market.
“There is also noticeable increase in smuggling of tramadol capsules. Tramadol use disorder is associated with physical withdrawal symptoms and compulsive behaviour,’’ she explained.
Adeyeye attributed disobedience of the laws of the land to the rising cases of drug abuse.
According to her, smuggling substances of abuse through the country’s porous sea and land borders as well as corruption and compromises at the points of entry are factors responsible for high cases of drug abuse in the country.
The Director-General noted that she had reformed the agency within the short period she assumed duty to ensure safety of lives.