Following the inauguration of the Health Emergency Response Team and State Drug Abuse Control Committee more than a fortnight ago, the State Government in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has began the sensitization of students in Secondary institutions across the State.
Speaking during the sensitization exercise, the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong who led the team to Pinn Margaret Secondary School, Calabar urged the students to abstain from illicit drug abuse, narcotics, alcohol and other social vices as they are ambassadors of their families and the ‘leaders of today’ in the country.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu also implured the students to stay away from abusive substances and focus on contributing to the growth and development of their communities and the State as they represent the future leaders.
The NDLEA Superintendent on Narcotics, Mrs Augusta Igbokwe who accompanied the team, educated the students on the dangers and effect of taking cigarette, compress cannabis, combines, weeds and all sort of dangerous drugs including the use of unprescribed drugs like Codeine and tramadol.
The Principal of the School, Ntunkae Tina Effiok as well as students of the school expressed their readiness to comply with the directives and patronize certified pharmacies and drug stores for prescribed drugs following the drug abuse session with the team whilst expressing concern over the rise in drug abuse incidence in schools and cited instances where students missed examinations because of it.
The State Health Emergency Response team which comprised of various departments in the health sector and paramilitary forces, ensured proper awareness and sensitization of the dangers of drug abuse among the students.
Codeine is an opiate used to treat pain, as a cough medicine, and for diarrhea. It is indicated in patients older than 12 years of age for the treatment of acute moderate pain which is not considered to be relieved by other analgesics such as paracetamol and the likes.