A 3 days Workshop on drug use sensitization for Nigeria police medical unit from the 6 state within the South South Region on drug prevention, treatment and care for police officers has ended in Port Harcourt with a charge to the officers to apply human face in dealing with drug related offenses.
Speaking to our correspondent at the sidelines of the workshop held at police officers mess old GRA in Port Harcourt River state had in attendance Officers in charge of police medical units and facilities from the Six state within the south south zone.
The OC Medical Dr Nkechi Eze said the programmed was initiated by the Inspector General of Police IGP Mohammed Adamu Who is worried over the raising cases of drug related offenses by youths and officers within the force and formed the police counselling and support unit to tackle the mental health of officers. she said the workshop in collaboration with united Nation office on drugs and crime UNODC would tackle current situation of drug supply, drug use, new trends and treatment responses. She hinted that the most important thing in the lectures is drugs prevention, care and treatment. as policemen interacts with members of the public who also use drugs on a daily bases. she said the training will enable the officers to collaborate, and respond better from a health perspective in dealing with drugs offenders.
pix. ACP DR. NKECHI EZE . OC MEDICALS RIVER STATE
Some of the participants and police medical officers at the workshop, told correspondent Anita Ogona that the training has equipped them to tackle issues of drug use within the force, PIX. CSP DR JENKINS UKAGHA OC MEDICALS CROSS RIVERS STATE POLICE COMMAND.
He said the training has enlighten the officers in different issues relating to drug offence and how to apply human rights issues in cases of arrest, Dr Ukagha also said they have been educated to be discretional when arrest of drugs users has been made, he said ”a lot of things we are not conversant with especially dealing with drug users and promised to take the training down to Cross Rivers state so that other officers can also benefit
pix. CSP DR MARGRET B. AKUWE OC MEDICAL EDO STATE
She said ” we have some gaps in the past between the police officers and the public, this training has exposed us to rights of the drug users, by the time we go back now, we will be able to educate our men on how to go about the arrest, and even when you arrest them it is not about taking them to the court, or them occupying prisons cells, it is about rehabilitating them, she said the police don’t want to discriminate them any more, we want them to be able to access care, be integrated into the family even after this care, no more stigmatizing them because we want them to be accepted. and at the end of the day we would be able to bridge the gap between the police and the public because there is already a strain between us and the public, so that at the end of the day we they would be able to say police is your friend
Family and society, and to support public health responses to drug users.
PIX. CSP DR UWAIFO JUDE. OC MEDICAL DELTA STATE POLICE COMMAND.
He said ”the training has broaden our perspective and improved our knowledge on drugs abuse care. we have realized that we are not suppose to criminalize drug addicts or user, we are suppose to bring them closer and rehabilitating them and also integrate back into the society. he said we would cascade this training by doing a stepdown training when we get home around our training and all those general duty officers to have a rethink on how to manage drug users.
PIX . CSP DR AHUNAYA CHUKWUDI. OC MEDICALS AKWAIBOM. he said the UNODC Training will be cascaded down to heads of formation. he promised to start by advocacy visit to the commissioner of police in Akwaibom State, Area Commander and tactical units head to be able to handle the facts that drug users could have medical condition, vis a vis the crimes that they practically involved in. To be able to handle their cases professionally which is the bane of the drive of the inspector general of police who is ensuring that police men are able to discharge their duties in the best way and professionally.
Meanwhile A former Force medical officer and a member of police counseling and support Group, Retired AIG Adenike Abunwa urged the police Authorities to develop a work place policy for officers that abuse drugs.
She also called on serving police officers not to criminalize drug Users. she said the training will server a dual purpose for the police personnel who should know about drugs and for the members of the public who have issues with drugs