By Nnenna Ubabuko
Anambra State Government has vowed to tackle rising incidence of drug abuse.
In order to fight the scourge, it constituted a Health Drug Abuse Campaign Committee (HDACC) in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala inaugurated the HDACC charging them to be committed and to working within the terms of reference to the benefit of Ndi Anambra.
Dr Okpala announced this in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.
The terms of reference for the committee is as follows: Adequate sensitisation of communities on primary prevention of drug abuse by creating awareness about methamphetamine commonly known as ‘Mkpulummili’ to the gatekeepers.
“Initiate and sustain methamphetamine supply chain surveillance on users, traffickers and producers of methamphetamine.
“Establish and upgrade referral centres for evidence-based interventions (not crude and unsure means of treatment); initiate and sustain methamphetamine abuser-surveillance.
“Conduct epidemiological studies on methamphetamine addiction in the state.’’
The commissioner explained that the epidemiological study would help to address incidences, prevalence, effective interventions and scope of problems in the fight against drug abuse, trafficking across the state.
“I urge you all to engage with Presidents-Generals (PG), Ward Development Committee members, School Authorities and Councilors in this fight,’’ he said.
In a remark, Chairman of the committee, Mr Linus Nwankwo, who doubles as the Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, assured that they would discharge their duties effectively.
He urged the committee members to give off their best for the state to become drug-free.
Members of the HDACC are drawn from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Anambra State Commissioner of Police and some Health personnel.
Others are, Zonal Leader, International Society of Substance Use Professionals, South East, Prof. Micheal Ezenwa, Rev. Fr. Chika Okpalike, Rev. Fr. Adolphus Ezeakor a Clinical Psychologist.