Drug abuse reason soldiers behave abnormally: Army

The Nigerian Army says most of its troops have resorted taking hard drugs to cope with the challenges of their profession and this accounts for the abnormal behaviors of some of them.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja stated this at the inauguration of a three-day capacity-building seminar on evidence-based drug prevention, treatment, and control.

The GOC, however, stated that the army was winning the fight against the proliferation of hard drugs in barracks and theatres.

“As you are all aware, military mobilisation, deployment and combat are often associated with severe mental and psychological stress for both the serving personnel and family members,” Mr Lagbaja, represented by by the Chief of Staff of the Division, Brig.-Gen. Greg Omoregbe, explained.

“Drug abuse has become increasingly recognised as a major coping mechanism, which has contributed to untoward behaviours amongst personnel and family members.

“The resultant effect of this rising trend is the negative impact on troops’ general health, discipline, unit cohesion, family function, and general unit administration. Drug abuse also contributes, in no small measure, to various degrees of psychological incapacitation among affected individuals.

“Psychological incapacitation among troops and family dysfunction negatively affects fighting capacity and unit operational effectiveness and efficiency.”

The seminar, organised by the division, in collaboration with Bensther Development Foundation, and facilitated by the 82 Division Medical Services and Hospital, was meant for non-medical commanders, principal staff officers, commanding officers, adjutants, administrative officers, and decision-makers, reports NAN.

The GOC charged officers attending the seminar to approach it with all seriousness and share experiences while relating to their troops and barracks and cantonments members so that drug abuse would be totally eliminated in the nearest future.