In a bid to effect social change and curb the painful tales of drug abuse, depression, suicide and the continued use of illicit drugs that affect the mental health of youths, a non-governmental organisation, Adorable Foundation International (AFI), has initiated a beauty pageantry, known as Societal Awareness Campaign Against Drug Abuse (ASACADA). An innovation created to tackle and address the rising abuse of drugs in Nigeria.
Describing the trend as a threat to nation-building, the president of the foundation, Princess Ada Amam, said, “We have to stop the rising cases now, as it is no longer a debate but a fact that drug abuse and illicit trafficking is a worldwide problem that has a far-reaching consequence because it is accompanied by crime, social vices, corruption and terrorism.
“Even without statistics, we can observe it on the streets that Nigeria has one of the highest problems of drug abuse. Sadly enough, another issue accelerating this menace of drug abuse is the production and sale of illicit drugs in the country.”
Amam explained the concept of ASACADA, heralding the March to June 26, 2021, urgent action called by the foundation to rescue youths who have lost hope and given up on their goals and have embraced drugs as a means to reduce the pain.
She added that the foundation aimed to use the beauty pageant project to prevent mentally challenged youths and also reduced the number of youths engagement with illicit drugs.
“The beauty queen from the contest would provide first aid support on a community programme focused mainly on youths who are victims of mental health challenges.”
Amam emphasized that the event would commemorate with the World Drugs Day on June 26, where 10 contestants would jostle for “Queen ASACADA” with the theme: “Fighting drug abuse: Lets fight this menace.”
“The work is enormous and we are ready to tackle illicit and misuse of drugs by collaborating with the youths in the country,” she said, emphasising the concept of Queen ASACADA, and the nine other contestants who would lead the campaigns to the interior and hinterland of the nation in order to reduce the use of illicit drugs to a barest minimum.
Amam added that the programme would be at Nigeria Air Force Headquarters (NAF) Mess in Abuja.
The president of the youth wing of the foundation, an undergraduate from the University of Lagos, Augusta Muoghora, stated that the growing addiction among students in tertiary institutions was due to peer pressure: “In several public and private tertiary institutions, marijuana and other drugs have become spices for food.”