Bayelsa government advocates focus on prevention of drug abuse

Bayelsa State Government has called on all actors in the fight against drug abuse to shift the focus of their campaigns from rehabilitation of victims to prevention of social discrimination and stigmatization against drug addicts in society.

Governor Douye Diri made the call at a Youth Road Walk and Rally organized by the Bayelsa Drug Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Committee (BADAPARC) in Yenagoa, to mark this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Governor Diri, who spoke at the well attended event through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, pointed out that if society failed to take proactive steps to stop stigmatization of drug addicted persons, it would lose the battle to regain them from the grip of drugs.

Citing himself and other notable personalities as example, the Bayelsa Chief Executive stressed that substance abuse cannot make anyone great in life but only destroys the destinies of its victims.

He noted that the message calling for positive change was not only for the youths, but for the entire social spectrum, including mature adults who were still victims of drug abuse.

While applauding the Chairperson and members of the Committee for the massive mobilization of the youths and other critical stakeholders for the event, Governor Diri, however, called on families, caregivers and the Church to show love and concern for drug abuse victims.

He urged drug abusers to repent, promising that government would make some incentives available for successfully rehabilitated drug addicts, as a deliberate step to prevent them from returning to destructive drugs.

Also speaking, the Bayelsa First Lady, Dr. Gloria Diri, expressed appreciation to the State Government for intensifying the campaign against drug abuse in the state, noting that the menace was a major social challenge confronting society.

Dr. Diri, who lamented that drugs had eaten up and destroyed the future of many youths in the country, said offices of the various first ladies in all the thirty-six states had adopted the World Drug Day as their programme to scale up the fight against substance abuse.