Students for Sensible Drug Policy in partnership with Youthrise held a 2-day summit to train its Chapter leaders on drug use and policies. SSDP is a youth based non-profit international organization with focus on reforming drug policies. Youthrise was established under the global Youth Rise Movement in 2002 and its objectives centers around the promotion of youth centered policy.
The summit was attended by the National leaders of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) as well as its Chapter leaders across the country who will take the message they heard during the summit to their various chapters to the benefit to the chapter members.
Types of drugs, reasons for taking drugs, categories of addiction, as well as the failing policies of the government, including the Nigerian Drug Law – The NDLEA Act were the major topics discussed during the summit.
The punitive approach of formulating a drug policy with the slogan “War on Drugs” is retrogressive and has adverse social, economic, and political implications on the society. Drugs have been tagged various demeaning names, age long myths, and misconceptions, controlled by numerous policies and the users secluded in the society.
The presence of drug policies which tend to prohibit drug use and criminalize drug users and peddlers are not achieving the result for which they were made. The government’s zero tolerance for drug substance abuse whose aim is to cut supply and completely eradicate drug substance. However, this punitive measure is making the situation worse.
Discussions were allowed on the categories of drug use, vulnerability, and protective factors and how poverty has a way of intensifying drug abuse, and media portrayal of drug abuse.
The summit was brought to a close with a question and answer session, where participants asked questions ranging from policy making, to regulation of drug use, and harm reduction control.