The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, pledged to combat substance abuse and provide a safe space for persons with disabilities to give them access to rehabilitation services as well as a support system.
The state government also assured PWDs of optimal attention to their well-being to enable them to excel in their endeavours.
Speaking at a town hall with a cluster group on ‘Healthcare Services and Menace of Drug Abuse among the People Living with Disability in Lagos State’, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende, said the responsibility of the society was to ensure that healthcare was inclusive, equitable, and tailored towards the unique needs of PWDs.
The town hall was held at the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Conference and Exhibition Centre, Alausa, on Thursday.
Represented by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Youth Mobilisation, Mr Alabi Oladimeji, the commissioner stressed that the issue of drug and substance abuse among PWDs could no longer be ignored.
He said, “The menace of drug abuse among people with disabilities cannot be ignored. The vulnerabilities faced by individuals with disabilities make them particularly vulnerable to substance abuse, often as a means of coping with pain, isolation, or other challenges.
“It is imperative that we implement preventive measures and establish support systems to address this issue effectively.”
He noted that education and awareness “play a vital role in combating drug abuse.”
“By conducting targeted campaigns and workshops, we can disseminate information about the risks associated with substance abuse, equip individuals with coping mechanisms, and empower them to make informed decisions,” the commissioner said.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs, Mrs Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal, said, “It’s not a conversation that we can shy away from. People abuse alcohol and cigarettes and it is eating up lungs and killing them inside.
“So, we have a problem on our hands and we are hoping that through these engagements we will be able to equip you with the necessary tools that you can use to navigate.”