By Felicia Imohimi
As efforts to combat drug abuse in Nigeria hit to gear, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) is about to represent a Codeine Control and Other Related Matters Working Group (CCRWG).
This is coming barely two weeks after the Senate, led by its President, Dr Bukola Saraki, held a Roundtable on Drug Abuse in Kano.
The Roundtable which was held with the Pharmacists Council, NGOs, State Governments and Traditional Rulers, sought to proffer options to the menace of drug abuse that’s quick claiming many youths in Nigeria.
At the roundtable, Saraki who expressed grave disappointment at how youths, together with younger women and nursing moms have been held by the clutches of medicine, vowed to go after importers and distributors in a bid to curb abuse of codeine and different substances..
It is in an identical vein that the Pharmacists Council is about to represent a gaggle that may management the distribution of codeine in Nigeria. (Codeine is a narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant just like morphine and hydrocodone. It it now being abused and used as a stimulant and an intoxicant)
Speaking to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, Mr Elijah Mohammed, Registrar of the Council mentioned that the management group would additionally sensitise the general public on the risks inherent in codeine consumption.
Mohammed particularly mentioned that the group, which might include regulatory our bodies and related stakeholders, would help within the implementation of a communication technique within the pharmacies and the patent and proprietary medication distributors’ retailers in numerous communities.
The registrar frowned on the massive variety of Nigerians which might be already hooked on a few of these medicines damming the consequence.
According to him, the group will support in enlightening the society on the risks related to the abuse of preparations containing codeine and different associated substances.
He added that the technique may also contain pharmacy screening, monitoring and surveillance and the way these addicted can get help and be rehabilitated,
Explaining the why codeine is being abused, he mentioned: “Codeine is an opioid drug just like morphine and has been permitted and accessed over-the-counter in low doses for relieving sufferers of signs related to dry cough,
“The codeine in such preparation, normally in smaller doses, serves as a cough suppressant and relieves ache related to the stress of coughing,
“However, due to its inherent properties when used in high doses over a long period it has been associated with dependence and powerful addictive propensity especially when used for recreational purpose,” Elijah famous.
Mohammed recognized the uncomfortable side effects of codeine to incorporate euphoria, apathy, drowsiness, false sense of belonging amongst others.
He additional added that the addict may face up to pains of varied levels and commit crime which in regular circumstances such people wouldn’t get entangled in.
According to him, on the demand aspect, there’s unhindered entry to the preparations by the general public because of sudden improve within the variety of unregulated distributors promoting these merchandise all around the nation with extra impression on Nigerians in northern half.
Elijah urged producers, importers and distributors of those preparations to show extra sense of moral and ethical duties within the manufacturing, provide and distribution of those merchandise since there was no confirmed proof of cough epidemic within the nation.
He famous that the council was at the moment working with technical teams of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and different related stakeholders to institute applications to be pushed by CCRWG to assist addicts overcome the challenges of habit.