An NGO, the Health Emergency Initiative (HEI), says it will empower more than 1,000 youth leaders and teenagers in a bid to curb drug abuse among them.
Mr Paschal Achunine, the Executive Director of the initiative told newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos that the empowerment was part of efforts to discourage drug abuse particularly among youths.
“Empowerment is one of the major solutions to stop substance abuse among the youth and that is why we are targeting that huge number.
“We should not give room for oppression, depression and idleness among our youths.
“Substance abuse includes harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs and psychoactive substance can lead to dependence syndrome,” he said.
Achunine explained that after repeated substance use, a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena develop, leaving the users with a strong desire to take the drug.
“There is usually difficulty in controlling its use despite its known harmful consequences.
“They give higher priority to drug use than other activities and obligations and leads to increased tolerance and sometimes a physical withdrawal state,” he said.
Achunine stressed that youth leaders were targeted for the empowerment because of their strategic and irresistible roles in influencing their peers.
“HEI believes that when this target group are empowered, they will influence their peers positively.
“We solicit support from the public and philanthropic organisations as we massively change the lives of generations for a better tomorrow,” he added.
NAN reports that HEI is an NGO that takes care of accident victims by paying their bills to stabilise them at the hospitals before the arrival of their relations