PSN closes over 50 illegal drug shops in Kogi
Over 50 illegal drug shops have been shut down by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Kogi State.
The Chairman of PSN Kogi State, Dr. Lawal Muhammed disclosed this on Tuesday during his address on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022.
Dr Muhammed described as very worrying the heavy circulation of hard and substandard drugs in Kogi State by the owners of quack drug shops, pointing out that if not quickly checked, it will pose a great danger to the country’s already fragile security situation.
He said the association’s recent findings revealed that school dropouts, people who lost their jobs in different fields had ventured into drug businesses in Kogi State just as they now view the selling drugs as a way to make a quick buck.
He said the association was still cracking down on more illegal shops and medical premises, adding that anyone caught would face the wrath of the law.
“Drugs are made available, easily, especially controlled drugs. Nowadays, everyone uses drugs, no matter who they are. It is amazing to learn that recently a woman had problems with her marital home, broke up and later became a single mother. The next thing we saw was that she now has a medical store with no qualifications to back it up.
“They now see the drug trade as a way to survive. Someone lost their job, the next thing is to get into the drug business. Someone is not doing well in the business he or she is doing, the next thing to do is get high. Drugs are not commodities that you trade. Medicines are there to render health care services and should be handled by professionals who have in-depth knowledge of them.
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The pharmacist also lamented that the patent medicine dealers did not store the drugs according to guidelines acceptable in the country.
Muhammed said “They have their guidelines. There are categories of drugs that they are supposed to stock, but because of the quest to make money, you will see them stocking all kinds of drugs. When the regulator starts cracking down on them, they’ll start coming out feeling like we’re witch-hunting them.
“Let me quickly illustrate. If a village hunter is allowed to carry an AK 47, you will agree with me that he will not know how to use this rifle correctly. Chances are he’s abusing the gun. This is why you see that there are personnel who are authorized to handle large caliber rifles like the military.
“The same scenarios apply to drugs. Not all individuals are licensed to handle all kinds of drugs. We have medicines for primary, secondary and tertiary health care services. These classes of drugs are not meant to be handled by a school certificate holder, or someone who has just lost their job, or a roadside vendor. They are supposed to be handled by professionals because we have safety issues around these drugs.”
He specifically singled out drug importers and manufacturers for this growing trend of drug abuse, adding that the focus given to their company representatives has heightened the threat of drug abuse in the country.