By Ralph Madugu
A new book titled, ‘Drug Abuse, You and Your Community’ which is targeted at reversing the current trend in drug abuse and crime from communities has been made public.
The 96-page book made up of 7 chapters written by a community development expert and current Country Director of Tearfund Nigeria, Mr. Paul Mershak, was necessitated by the fact that the author had hitherto written the first edition titled, “What is Drug Abuse?” which is an introductory book widely accepted and utilized hence the need for this new edition.
In the first edition, the author made an attempt to define what drug abuse is and its effects on the body pictorially presented in 19 pages.
Speaking at the book launch, Gov. Simon Bako Lalong commended the author for the initiative which he noted will assist and support government in finding solutions that will check substance abuse.
Represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Irmiya Werr, Gov. Lalong stated that the book will assist in finding solutions that will check substance abuse which he opined is almost crippling the corporate existence of the country.
“We want to appreciate the author for taking this initiative for supporting government in seeing that this great menace eating up the society is tackled.”
In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion and Deputy Clerk, Administration, in the House of Representatives, Dr. Abel Ochigbo, said drug abuse had caused a lot of damages to the country as according to him, many of the vices plaguing the country are linked to drug abuse.
Said he: “Many of the incidences of killings, terrorism and banditry are linked to this issue of drug abuse.”
Earlier in his welcome address, author of the book, Mr. Paul Mershak said, “The new edition was motivated by a deeper desire for deeper understanding of the subject of drug abuse as it is connected with individuals, families and the communities at large aiming at deeper reflection for lasting behavior change.
“The title “Drug Abuse, You and Your community” is simply a wakeup call to us all for self-examination on how we use prescription and over the counter drugs especially those containing addictive elements and therefore capable of eliciting addiction.”
The title of the book the author stated, signifies that everyone is at risk of drug abuse adding that no one is exempted except people carefully watch their use of prescriptions and none-prescriptive drugs and substances with addictive elements around them.
He added that the choice of the title of the book is a call for the community to examine how it supports the use of socially accepted substances such as alcohol and tobacco which are commonly found on the streets.
“It is a further call to individuals and our worship centres; churches, mosques and the faith community generally, to help in the identification, treatment, recovery, rehabilitation and empowerment of all willing addicts,” he stressed.
On why the public presentation of the book, the author posited “To draw the public’s attention to the growing menace and destruction resulting from drug abuse.
“To appeal for the contribution and support of the public towards continuous drug abuse education in churches and mosques. To seek the public support for the book translation into relevant languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and French.
“To mobilise public support in raising funds to build the “Trust Fund” manage by 11 Board of Trustees and Council members aimed at treatment, rehabilitation and empowerment of identified willing addicts.”
While calling on the public to join hands to “defeat this giant that is today implicated in wasting our productive age; increasing poverty and conflict in communities and causing upsurge in crimes and cultism,” the author expressed optimism that it is possible to see a reversal of the current trend in drug abuse and crime through commitment from individuals and their communities.
The event featured public lecture, review of the book, testimony from a recovered substance use disorder client, poem recitation and playlet by the drama team of Jos ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS).
Highpoints of the event were the unveiling public presentation and dedication of the book which was performed by the ECWA Acting Assistant General Secretary Rev. Samuel Atu alongside the Anglican Bishop of Bukuru Diocese, Rt. Rev. Jwan Zhumbes.
The event had in attendance traditional rulers and members of the state and national assembly, among others.