The Cross River state Government, in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has began the sensitisation of secondary school students across the state on the dangers of drugs abuse.
Speaking during the sensitisation exercise at Pinn Margaret Secondary School in Calabar, the state capital, Dr Inyang Asibong, the state Commissioner for Health, advised the students to abstain from illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana, among others.
Asibong advised the students to take their academic work seriously, stressing that consumption of such drugs could truncate their future.
The commissioner further advised the students to desist from peer groups that add no meaning to their academic pursuit and moral growth.
“As part of our effort to curb the menace of drug abuse, the state government had inaugurated the State Drug Abuse Control Committee and the Health Emergency Response Team. My gospel here is to advise all of you to abstain from drug abuse if you have ever indulged in any. The consumption of drugs at your age can truncate your beautiful future. I want to encourage you to hold firm to your academic activities and shun any peer group that tries to lure you into taking hard drugs.’’
In a remark, Dr Betta Edu, the Director-General of Cross River Primary HealthCare Agency, advised the students to stay away from such substances and focus on contributing to the growth and development of their communities, state and Nigeria.
The NDLEA Superintendent on Narcotics, Mrs Augusta Igbokwe, also enjoined the students to shun the intake of unprescribed drugs such as Codeine and Tramadol.
Igbokwe told the students that the consumption of cigarette, cannabis and other hard drugs would affect their health negatively, adding that NDLEA resists the sellers and consumers of such drugs.
In her remarks, the Principal of the school, Mrs Tina Effiok, thanked the state Ministry of Health and NDLEA for the enlightenment programme.
Effiok said the awareness have given them the knowledge on how to patronise certified pharmacies and drugs stores for prescribed drugs.
She expressed concern over the rising cases of drug abuse among secondary school students, adding that some students had missed their examinations due to the intake of hard drugs.