Residents of Kaduna State on Wednesday applauded the Federal Government for banning codeine, saying that the measure would save the lives of many youths including women.
The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Kaduna, that the measure would safeguard the lives of young citizens as it would reduce drug-related deaths among youths.
Bala Usman, a parent, said with the ban, most youths would consider having a better lifestyle.
“I am very happy and excited about this development in the country because most of our children will now look for a better livelihood.
“There will be less cases of mental ill-health and children will go to school without any disturbance.’’
He urged relevant authorities to strictly ensure compliance and monitor all patent medicine stores.
Another respondent, Mrs Mary Kure, also said that the ban was long overdue because both married women and youths had for long abused the drug.
“It is a well known fact because it has rendered most vibrant youths and mothers useless.
“It has cost more harm than good; even if it were to be used, it should be kept only in hospital pharmacy and should be given with doctor’s prescription,’’ she said.
Jibril Gabriel, a youth, said that with the ban, parents would be able to save money for useful purposes.
“This ban gave me more joy because some parents with affected children will be able to save money for future use.
“It will also help some of the victims to concentrate on their studies.
“I still want to beg the Federal Government to ban any drug that people are abusing which are causing havoc in the society,’’ Gabiel said.
Peter Musa, a victim of codeine, said he was not happy with the development as it would affect him.
“This ban of codeine will affect me because I get inspiration from it. I am always happy when I take it and it makes life easier for me,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Dr Baka Isah-Shaedouw, the Director-General, Bureau for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in Kaduna, said the policy was a good one as the drug would no longer be readily available.
He said the ban was one of the best things that happened in the country, especially Kaduna State.
He said that prior to the ban, the drug had become a household commodity and had caused many youths to drop out of school.
Isah-Shaedouw said the state government would ensure total compliance with the restriction in collaboration with the state chapter of the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, Ministry of Health and NAFDAC.
He said codeine was one of the many pharmaceuticals classified as an opiate, adding that opiates are narcotics with a high potential for addiction.
“When used as prescribed, this pain reliever and cough suppressant is a relatively mild opiate.
“However, it is still a dangerous drug that is increasing in usage and popularity, both with celebrities and with teenagers and young adults.
“Codeine is typically administered in liquid or pill form (frequently in combination with acetaminophen), and when used under the direction of a medical professional, codeine is a relatively safe way to treat minor pain or control troublesome coughs.
“However, users often abuse codeine for the feelings of relaxation and euphoria they produce.
“Codeine abuse can develop into fullfledged codeine addiction.
“In fact, codeine has been classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse,’’ the director-general said. (NAN)