The YouthRISE Nigeria has launched a campaign to stop the maltreatment of drug addicts by law enforcement agencies and rehabilitation centers.

The group, in collaboration with the West Africa Policy Network Nigeria, (WADPN) said the campaign tagged, ‘WE ARE PEOPLE’ was aimed at advocating a soft approach to treating those who abuse drugs instead of the repressive methods being employed by government.

The coordinator of the group, Adeolu Adebiyi, at the launch, said after much consultation and research, it found that drug abusers are subjected to inhuman treatment by rehabilitation centers and perceived by law enforcement agencies as mere criminals. 

He cited instances where rehab centers would chain and flog abusers, which is primitive and make drug abusers run away from treatment. Adebiyi said drug addicts should not be treated as criminals, but individuals in need of support, adding that drug control should reflect principles of human rights and drug policy should focus on health and harm reduction.

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