Oyo state government has partnered an Ibadan based lifestyle and Psychotherapy Specialist company, Medicred Limited, in what it described as a strategic partnership to intensify the fight against illicit use and abuse of drugs and hard substances.
Recall that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency recently expressed serious concern about the high rate of drugs and substance abuse especially among the youth in the southwest, especially Lagos and Oyo States.
The government in response to these alarming statistics partnered Medicred Limited to embark on a four-day intensive training of over 580 National Association of Patents and Proprietors Medicine (NAPPMED) members across the state.
Speaking on behalf of the state government at the grand finale of the four days intensive training of NAPPMED members held at the Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan yesterday, the Special Assistant the Governor on Community Relations, Olufemi Josiah reiterated the resolve of the government to block all channels of distribution of drugs and hard substance into the society.
Josiah described the partnership between the state government and Medicred as a strategic one aimed at training members of NAPPMED, who he described as the gatekeepers of distribution channels of drugs being the first point of contact to the drug consumers at the grassroots.
He noted: “This is one of the Youths Empowerment Rewind Initiative of the Oyo State Government which is our initiative towards curbing youth restiveness and substance abuse in our community and society at large. We are here to complete the training of Patent Medicine dealers (NAPPMED).”
“We as a government have discovered that NAPPMED members are the gateway to the illicit trafficking of drugs and substances in our state. They are channels through which prescribed and Over The Counter (OTC) drugs get into the society through which these drugs are abused.”
“So, we started training them to let them know the importance of fully cooperating with the government in the fight against drugs and substance abuse through psychotherapy.”
“We believe that after this training they will have been well informed and equipped to understand their roles as the gateway to various channels of distribution as well as they understand the implication of their complicity.”
“We expect that they will be ambassadors of government towards the fight against the use and abuse of illicit drugs and substance trafficking in our state. We believe that the United Nations rating of Oyo state as the second state in the south-west with higher prevalence of drugs among young people will greatly reduce by this our efforts,” Josiah said.
He, however, urged the NDLEA, NAFDAC and other concerned authorities to help the state government to go after the cartels who are backers of those in the business of supply and distribution of illicit drugs and substances into the larger society.
In her remarks, while addressing journalists, Mrs Bukonla Agunbiade, a Lifestyle Pherm doctor and Psychotherapist who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Medicred Limited, maintained that the training was part of a larger plan and strategy between the state government and her organization to first block the channel of distribution by bringing the patent medicine dealers on board to educate them on the importance of their roles.
“We are here because we are training about 5000 ‘healthpreneurs’ across the state on basic psychotherapy because of the high prevalence of drug and substance abuse in our state. These people are at the grassroots and first point of call to those youths that are into drug abuse and trafficking.