To curb the menace of hard drug addiction in the country, the family and larger society have been urged to re-strategise the mode of raising the boy child.
The charge was made during the week at the launch of Mara To Elim Post Rehabilitation Home (MTEPRH) for drug addicts who have graduated from rehab centres.
The event, which was held at Wellspring Rehabilitation Centre in Ojodu Berger Lagos, was in commemoration of the 60th birthday and thanksgiving of MTEPRH founder, Mrs. Oluwakemi Jegede.
According to Jegede, hard drugs have become the menace of the Nigerian society and global community as a whole.
“It is worrisome that Nigeria occupies a prominent place in the global hard drug use and trafficking index. Hard drugs destroy destiny, dreams and make the user useless for life if care is not taken,” she said.
She revealed that she came up with the MTEPRH initiative because of her personal experience with a relative who became a drug addict and has been on the street for over 40 years.
“He is now 65 years old without a wife, children, shelter and has no means of livelihood. I had intervened severally by taking him to rehabilitation centres but nothing much was achieved as these rehabs were designed to intervene for a short period of time. At the time of graduation, most residents still need a longer time to be fully broken which is why they return to the street and drugs.
“Through the process, I discovered some of the cases these rehab centres handle could not be sorted out within a short period. Also, after graduation these residents have compounded challenges such as rejection from the society and loved ones, stigmatisation, unemployment, etc, which takes them back to the streets. This is why Mara to Elim, which means from bitterness to sweetness, was conceived to provide succour to drug addicts for a longer time after graduation from the rehabs, in order to help them properly fit into the society,” she explained.
Jegede said the focus of the home would be to provide accommodation, counselling, feeding and vocational training where the residents would be trained in the arts and crafts such as carpentry, soap making, sewing, plumbing, etc.
“These will help them eke out a living and fully integrate into the society after being discharged from the home,” she added.