A non-governmental organization, Youth Initiative for Drug Research, Information, Support, and Education in Nigeria (YouthRise Nigeria) has partnered with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on the fundamental human rights of drug users in the society, saying unlawful detention by law enforcement agencies would not stop drug users but showing them love and care.
Programme Officer, YouthRise Nigeria, Phillip Njang, who disclosed this after a novelty match between the female police officers team and vulnerable females affected By drug use team on Friday in Abuja to mark the International Human Rights Day.
Njang said the protection of the health and human rights of people who use drugs should be considered by not only government but the community, adding that human rights laws entitle every person with the right to health and and other healthcare services.
According to him, pejorative terms commonly used in news media dehumanize and stereotype People who inject drugs (PWIDs) as unpredictable and violent, stressing that such beliefs weaken human rights and create barriers to employment, health care and social services.
“Due to these human rights challenges faced by people who inject drugs, the community needs to be continually enlightened that PWIDs have rights to healthcare services, thereby reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health problems and the level of drug use.
Consider alternatives to criminalization and incarceration of people who inject drugs and focus criminal justice efforts on those involved in supply, ” he said.