Fighting the new ‘cool’

Fighting the new ‘cool’

Substance abuse.

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase?
Perhaps a junkie in threadbare clothes, living on the roadside, talking to no one but themselves, or the rap star who goes everywhere with a red party cup containing a dangerous cocktail of mind altering substances.


Substance abuse may mean different things to different people, but the havoc it leaves in its wake is understood by all, even now more than ever before.


At every street corner, the crescents of the wealthy or the cul-de-sacs of the not not-so-rich, a deal is going down. Money is being exchanged for some powdery substance, tablet, dried leaves or a vial of mind altering substance.

This is not a one-off event. It’s happening more frequently than you think.


Yes, the prevalence level of substance abuse is worrying and something has to be done to stop today’s youth from becoming tomorrow’s addicts. This is why project ASAP was established.


The MTN Foundation Anti Substance Abuse Program – ASAP is a step in the right direction, to show our youth that there is hope for a brighter future.


ASAP is a multi-stakeholder intervention aimed at increasing awareness of substance abuse and addiction among the youth. The goal of the programme is to discourage first-time usage and to stop habitual users of opioid and narcotic  substances nationwide.


MTN has adopted a broad based approach to curbing the menace by bringing together a large group of likeminded individuals and organisations, determined to fight a common enemy. This group consists of highly qualified professionals across the public sector, regulatory agencies, international organizations, faith based organisations, Non-profit organisations, Student Unions, Government ministries, The Legislature, etc.


MTN Foundation is collaborating with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), NAFDAC, Federal and State Ministries of Health, Education, Women Affairs, Transport, Youth Development, etc.  National and State assemblies, Christian association of Nigeria (CAN), National association of Nigerian students (NANS), Nigeria Network of NGO’s, Freedom Foundation, NDLEA, UNODC, etc. to make this project succeed.


However, we can only be successful if everyone pitches in to participate.


As a society it rests with all of us to see that our youth lay hold of a brighter tomorrow. As the popular saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child”.

In this case, it takes a nation.


We all have a lot to do, a lot to learn and a lot to share.

Drug abuse needs to stop. Now.