MTN Foundation on Wednesday unveiled Project A.S.A.P (Anti-Substance Abuse Programme), to raise awareness on menace of substance abuse and addiction in the country.
The MTN Foundation Chairman, Mr Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi presided at the unveiling in Lagos.
The project was formally launched with a consortium of stakeholdersincluding health practitioners, MTN officials and brand ambassadors.
The goal of the programme is to discourage first-time usage and casual substance abuse nationwide.
“This situation is urgent and important. Substance abuse is a well known and growing menace in our country. Our youth, the future of this nation, are at risk,” Adeluyi said during his remark at the forum.
He added,“This why we must do as much as we can; as fast as we can, to chart the right course and help those coming behind us understand the dangers. We owe it to ourselves and our children.”
The initiative, which will run for six months, targets young Nigerians from age 10 – 25. Part of the integrated communications campaign effort is a dedicated microsite with an online representative trained to answer enquiries from the public on substance abuse, addiction, rehabilitation, in addition to direct engagement activities targeted at schools, campuses, markets, motor parks and communities across Nigeria.
The MTN Foundation has over the years partnered with both public and private organisations to initiate sustainable development programmes in different focus areas with the aim of making life brighter for Nigerians.
World Health Organisation estimates that globally over 160 million people had an alcohol or drug use disorder in 2016. While data on the prevalence of substance abuse and the number of people with drug disorders in Nigeria is limited, available facts suggest that accessibility to and abuse of illicit drugs are on the rise.
According to a 2016 report from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Nigeria is a known trafficking hub for controlled substances, with many young Nigerians in metropolitan areas getting entangled in drug-related offences.
Source: The Nation News