National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, has expressed worry over the high rate of drug abuse and addiction among Corps members.
The NYSC Coordinator in Ondo State, Mrs Victoria Ani lamented that the situation calls for concern following the huge numbers of Corps members taking illicit drugs.
She said that the ugly development confirmed that the addiction among the corps members needed to be urgently addressed because the rate was alarming.
Ani spoke at the 2021 corps employers’ workshop in Akure, the state capital, on Wednesday.
The workshop was themed, ‘Optimising the NYSC/corps employers’ partnership for national development in the context of the New Normal.’
The state coordinator, who stated that many corps members were drug addicts, called on the employers of the corps members to assist in rehabilitating them rather than rejecting them.
The stakeholders who attended the workshop had earlier complained that many corps members deployed in their establishments for places of primary assignment engaged in various acts of drug abuse and smoking of weeds(Indian hemp).
Reacting to the complaints, Ani said, “For the Corps members that take weeds(Indian hemp), I need to let you know that NYSC is doing so much. Many of our children (corps members) are drug addicts. I am talking out of experience. When we are in the orientation camp, we tell them that if they were into it, it was an opportunity for them to drop such habits.
“In this our very last orientation, we had one that was suffering from withdrawal syndrome. We were managing this boy and he eagerly wanted to take more. As a matter of fact, when we are going to the orientation camp, we take so many collaborative agencies including NDLEA, counsellors, people who help talk to the ones that are really into drugs.”
She added, “I never knew that this TomTom (sweet) when you put it inside Coca-Cola, it will make you high. I never knew that when they hold Lacaserra bottle, you won’t know that the content is not Lacaserra. Even known seasoning cubes that you and I use in cooking, these children will put it inside Lacasera, drink it and they are high.
“In the scheme, we counsel them, talk to them every morning. Another female corps member brought over one hundred tablets of Diazepam drugs to the camp. So the issue of drug abuse is getting alarming. Some will wake up at midnight shouting and disturbing others.
“We keep telling them that if they are into drugs, they should drop it outside before entering the orientation camp within three weeks, and once they could achieve that, they could live a normal life. So when you have such in your employment, please let them become your own children, help them because so many of them are into drugs, that is the truth.”