The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday said it had arrested 480 suspects for drug-related offences in Katsina state.
The NDLEA Commandant in the state, Hajiya Maryam Gambo, who disclosed this in Katsina while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command, said that the suspects were apprehended from January to date.
Gambo said that 18 of the suspects were young girls, adding that the agency seized 469.9 kilograms of prohibited drugs in the state during the period.
“The rate at which girls are abusing drugs particularly cough syrup is alarming.
“Some of them told us that the practice is very common among female students of secondary school and tertiary institutions,’’ she said.
She further expressed concern over the increasing rate of cough syrup abuse among married women and men in the state.
Gambo added that married women and men in the state had also joined in the abuse of cough syrup.
She stated that 309 drug users in the state were counselled on the dangers of the habit, during the period, adding that some of them had been reintegrated into the society.
She appealed to members of the public to expose the hideouts of drug users so as to make the state drug-free.
The commandant said that the agency in the state had constraints of adequate manpower, funding and operational vehicles to carry out its responsibilities across the 34 local government areas, and appealed for assistance.