By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Chief Executive Officer of Teworh Foundation, Suraj Abdulwahab Olaniyi has urged youth to shun drug and substance abuse and embrace sports as they have nothing to lose, but much to gain be doing so.
He gave the advice at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, at Teworh Foundation’s 2021 activities to mark the World Drug Day, with the theme, “Hope and Healing From Drug Abuse Through Sports”.
According to him, more research findings link immunity from diseases to being physically active through engaging in sports.
“There is absolutely nothing to lose by engaging in sports. Number one is physical fitness you gain. Number two, from the COVID-19, it was discovered that your immune system could be strong if you engage in sports and exercise.
“There is badminton, there is hockey, there is volleyball, you can run, you can jog, you can do aerobics, there is so much. With these, you can be strong and then you will look good,” he advised.
Speaking further, he told the youth that when they engage in sports, they get energized, making them eat and sleep well, in contrast with engaging in drugs, which saps their energy and makes them restless.
“Today is World Drugs Day, I hope you have not just learnt a lot of things. Those pamphlets shared to you, are not just to keep, but to read and learn and also teach your peers out there in your respective communities, what you have learnt,” he added.
Olaniyi said, “You are ambasadors today, only God knows how many lives you will save. Share the facts and save lives, that is the theme for this year.”
In her remarks, Hajia Hadiza Aliko Muhammad from an NGO, House of Recovery, said that drugs and substance abuse only lead to the road of destruction.
She charged parents and guardians to be good role models for children, guiding them in the right steps to take and discouraging them from engaging in drug abuse and addiction.
“Parenting is not a Noun. You can be a parent either biologically or through adoption. I can tell you that parenting is a verb. It is a doing word. A verb is an action word. So when you are a parent, you continue to act and act until the day you die.
“It is not something that ends because your children grow taller than you. My children are taller than me but still you know, there is a portion of parenting that continues,” she advised.
Speaking further she said that even those that are not parents yet will.be someday and should endeavour to encourage the children to channel their energy positively into activities like sports.
“You can use those principles, those values you learn in sports to apply in life as well. Very importantly, let us set boundaries, let us not cheat or lie or shield our children from decisions that they make, that will lead to consequences.
“If you make a mistake, a mistake is an opportunity to learn, so you have to be made to realize that there are consequences for what you have done, so that next time, you don’t repeat same. But if there is somebody that is always shielding you, always protecting you from learning lessons, they have done nothing positive for you. Instead, they have debilitated you so that in life, you cannot solve problems.
Another speaker, Dr Saidu Hashim, held that genetic predisposing is another salient factor responsible for addiction and should be consciously dealth with even at the point of marriage.
In his words, “genetic disposition is an unpopular factor responsible for the high rate of drug and substance abuse in the country today. Like many other similar illnesses that can be traced to genetics, research have shown that genetics also aids addiction and should be considered when choosing a partner for marriage.”
Dr. Kamaldeen Sani, a psychiatrist, also profered ways as a solution whuch he called the 4Ds; DELAY, your urge to use drugs, DRINK WATER when in the mood to take drugs, take a DEEP-BREATH when tensed with the feeling & look for a positive DISTRACTION to mark time while the urge while away”
Other speakers called on users to seek help for their mental health issues acknowledging that mental health begins at 18years of age in prodromal status or in clinical state.
The event which was powered by Teworh Foundation, had collaborations from Al Ansar Academy, Bin Asheem Citadel School, Little Scholars Schools, YSFON, NFF Academy Kaduna, Godly Prosperous Souls Outreach, Clique, I FM, Alice GOMBWER Foundation, NYSC and Health and Happiness Foundation all in Kaduna.
The World Drug Day is marked on June 26 annually.
As part of this year’s activities, Teworh Foundation took it to the general public through a road walk that climaxed at Ahmadu Bello Stadium with fun-fare and calls to discourage users and potential users from indulging in drugs and substance abuse.