Senate, NMA Talks: Is This Bye-Bye To Sweet Codeine?
Sweet Codeine is causing trouble, but the government seems ready to face it squarely.
It is a cough syrup, but persons who do not even have cough are the ones buying more bottles.
They have been branded science students, as they mix different substances to get high.
Its use is spreading and more youths are engaging in it even though doctors have warned that it could damage the brain.
One of the things that Nigeria needs to address its use is legislation.
To begin, a ban has been placed on its importation by the Ministry of Health, but lawmakers led by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, want to do more.
Also Read: Codeine Can Damage Your Brain Permanently
After the meeting Dr. Saraki Twitted.
They looked at how the NMA can collaborate more closely with the National Assembly to achieve significant reforms. they hope that several medical doctors serving in the legislature will make the legislation robust.
The Senate President had on May 1 said the widespread nature of drug and substance abuse problem in Nigeria had informed the talks on drug abuse that was held in December last year.
Also Read: Codeine Is The New Cancer For Female Folks
The ban had come after the BBC Africa published a documentary on April 30 showing the nature of drug addiction in some parts of Nigeria.
He says the documentary was an eye-opener.
"Nigerians can now see that if care is not taken, we could be sitting on a catastrophe.
"We cannot all just fold our arms and expect this Drug Abuse issue to fix itself. This is everybody's problem.
"As things stand, the Senate has already developed a draft legislative framework for the control of narcotics and psychotropic substances and the provision of mental health and substance abuse services in Nigeria.
With the Drug Control Bill that the Senate is set to introduce, the mandate of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and other relevant law enforcement and regulatory bodies will be strengthened to eradicate the illicit production, and trafficking of controlled substances.
Another bill in the works, the Mental Health Bill, will ensure the availability of mental health and substance abuse services in every state.
The Senate believes the provision of the bills will help address the growing and disturbing trend.
"We cannot continue like this. We cannot continue to have one psychiatrist for every 1.6 million Nigerians and expect this substance abuse problem to go away," he added.