The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that it arrested 236 suspects dealing in various drugs like cocaine, Heroin, Cannabis sativa and psychotropic substances in Anambra State in the last six months.
The state Commander of the Agency, Mr. Sule Momodu who made the disclosure in Awka during a programme to mark this year’s United Nations Day against Illicit Drug Abuse and Trafficking, said that out of this number, 214 were males, while 22 were females.
He also said that 22 of the suspects had been convicted, adding that 283.031kg of hard drugs were seized.
The drug situation in Anambra State, he said, had not only become very worrisome but quite alarming, and stressed the need for governments at all tiers, families, religious organisations community leaders, and school authorities to take up the responsibility of creating the awareness and counselling young men and women on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking as a direct complement to the efforts of the Agency.
The Agency, he said, has been taking its enlightenment programme on the dangers of drug intake to the people and schools in the state through bill boards, quiz contests and publication.
The Agency’s interest he said was not solely on those already smoking cannabis sativa or sniffing such drugs as cocaine or heroin or drinking a mixture of local gin and marijuana known in local parlance as “Monkey tail”, because it was believed that this social category are sick and needed medical attention, but those who were yet to be co-opted into the act should be prevented.
He said research has confirmed that Cannabis sativa or marijuana contains about 400 types of chemicals which were all dangerous to health, adding that the chemicals in marijuana fight and gradually destroy vital organs like the kidney and liver and cause permanent brain damage in addicts.
The chemicals in marijuana, he further explained, lead to memory loss in the victims, and for most women who abuse these drugs, they find it difficult to conceive when they marry or at best give birth to deformed children, while the men lack the ability to produce quality sperm healthy enough to make their wives pregnant.
To the students who indulge in drug abuse, Momodu said it could permanently ruin their lives because it could lead to loss of memory and failure in their examinations.
He said that the recent discovery of a clandestine laboratory for methamphetamine production at Nnaka, Orumba North council area of the state has added a new dimension in the state’s drug problems as the state now plays the role of the three tiers of production, transition and consumption of illicit drugs.