The push and battle to end the abuse of drugs in Nigeria and rescue those being dragged to the gallows have reached a new height, with at least 2.5 million bottles of codeine recalled by the Nigerian government.

This figure was given by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, on Tuesday at a meeting with the Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA).

He told the members of the committee that the bottles of codeine were recalled from across Nigeria.

It is a committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari to help those enslaved by hard drugs to build new lives.

Adewole said that the ban on the production, distribution and sale of hard drugs had helped in curbing their menace.

‘Since we banned Codeine syrup in the country, till today, over 2.5 million bottles have been recalled, and we will not relent in ensuring that this menace is curbed to the barest minimum.

“Drug issues are not restricted to Northern parts of the country.

“I consider this event a worthwhile investment and a clarion call on all of us to rise to the occasion to save lives and restore the dignity of man.

“When I see people talking about the Northern part as the most dangerous when it comes to drug consumption, I will say, the South-West states are not left out.

Bizarre Substances People Use

“The drugs commonly abused in Nigeria include cannabis, codeine-containing-medications, tramadol and other opioids, benzodiazepines, cocaine and heroin.

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“But, it is shocking to know that Nigerians have moved from taking cannabis sativa, popularly known as marijuana, to some other bizarre substances.

“Lizard excrement, latrine fumes, rubbish dump fumes, paint fumes, gutter fumes, dry cow dung are being consumed. There are others yet to be identified substances that are also abused.

“I must say that setting up this committee is a good move to curb this menace in our country,” he said.

The minister described the escalation of drug abuse in Nigeria as worrisome and urged the committee not to only look at the issue of codeine but also the bizarre substances abused in Nigeria.

“The need to educate the people on the dangers of drug abuse has called for concern since they have moved to sniffing those bizarre substances.

“We must also look at how to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society to become better people in the nearest future,” he added.

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