The Plateau State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that 386 persons, consisting 369 males and 17 females, were arrested over drug peddling in 2016.
State Commander (NDLEA), Dr. Ngozi Madubuike, made the disclosure in Jos the Plateau State Capital.
According to her, “Those convicted are currently serving jail terms ranging from one month to three years imprisonment,” she said.
She maintained that the Command’s rehabilitated and reintegrated 42 male drug-dependent persons, aged 19 to 64, and blamed the rise on drugs usage in the State on peer pressure, family disintegration and unemployment.
Madubuike added that the agency secured the conviction of 96 drug dealers and seized 3,217,472 kilograms of illicit drugs in the period under review.
The Commander said the seized drugs were mostly cannabis, sativa, cocaine, and various psychotropic drugs.
She, however lamented that, “One major problem we have noticed here is that adolescents and youths commence the use of alcoholic substances, especially the locally brewed substances such as goskolo, pito and burukutu, at an early age, usually from 10 to 35 years.
“Such substances are considered gateway to drug, because people start with them and move to something higher until their bodies start tolerating hard drugs,” She lamented further.
Madubuike urged the public to avail their drug-dependent wards of the services of the agency’s rehabilitation centre, and promised to sustain the fight against drugs until the State was free from the menace.