Dr. Hope Abraham Omeiza, the National Co-ordinator Vanguard Against Drug Abuse was recently welcomed on stage to discuss the effects of Drug abuse at the Annual United Baptist Conference . He started by sharing how he was introduced to drugs by a church member at the age of 12, which has made him always passionate each time he is invited to address churches and other religious bodies on drug abuse.
Dr. Hope arrived the venue on Saturday, 25th August around 10am in Auta Balefi Nassarawa state. He commended the churches for now including drug abuse topics in their programs.
“This is undeniably key in the fight against drug abuse if we must win because of the teeming population of youths in the church.” he said
Aside discussing the effects he explained early signs parents will notice in a child/ward who had just started using drugs.
“Some of these signs are detachment, change of sleep pattern, change of feeding pattern, loss of pleasure with previously pleasurable activities, flunking classes, change of friend circle among others.”
Drug abuse among women/girls was also discussed where he highlighted some of the reasons that complicates drug abuse in this group which are: stigmatization, higher prevalence of mental illness in females, differential socio-economic status, the female monthly menstrual circle, and the relatively poorer health seeking behaviour among the female folks.
He defined the term ‘Telescoping’ as the time from which an individual first encountered the drug to when the individual is suffering from the consequences of drugs and requires help.
“This have also been shown by studies that telescoping is shorter in females than in their male counterparts.”
He concluded by emphasizing that drug abuse is more prevalent and closer to us than we ever thought, this is why he advocates that everyone must begin to talk. The session didn’t finish until all questions were taken from over 20 youths where some were obviously seen to have been abusing drugs and seeking ways to help them quit.
The youth representatives and pastors of the church took turn to express their gratitude to Dr. Hope for making it down and equally commended VGADA for the great work they are embarking. Prayers were also made to prosper this cause.
Pictures from the Event: