A student of the Federal University , Lokoja , Saddam Saidu, has narrated how drug addiction almost ruined his life , but for the intervention of his father , Mohammed , who refused to give up on him .
The Political Science student explained that he became addicted to Tramadol and other opiates through friends who were drug abusers .
Saddam ’ s narration was buttressed by his father during a town hall meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday to mark the 2018 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking , with the theme , ‘ Listen first : Listening to children and youths is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe . ’
The former addict advised parents to monitor their children and wards , adding that the future of a lot of youngsters has been ruined by drug abuse and addiction .
“ I finished my secondary school about eight years ago , but I am in 200 level at the university . You can see how my addiction had affected my academic progress . The last time I saw some of my friends , they were so impressed , they kept telling me I was looking good ; I want to thank my father for not giving up on me , ” Saddam said .
Mohammed explained that rehabilitating Saddam cost him a lot , adding that he had to place him in an expensive rehabilitation clinic in Wuse , Abuja .
“ I was running an online Masters programme with a foreign university . The programme cost me $ 2 , 250 but I had to abandon the programme to focus on the rehabilitation of my son , ” Mohammed told the audience which erupted in a loud ovation .
The Chairman , National Drug Law Enforcement Agency , Col . Muhammad Abdallah ( retd . ) , said beyond clamping down on offenders , his agency was enlightening the youths about drug abuse .
“ It is not acceptable that parents who have the primary responsibility of listening to their wards have rather resorted to blaming teachers , pastors , Imams , law enforcement agencies and even their children ’ s peers for their drug indulgence, ” he noted .
The National Security Adviser, Maj . – Gen . Babagana Monguno ( retd . ) , stated that enormous volume of drugs were still produced , trafficked and consumed throughout the world despite the efforts of national and international institutions.
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