An official of the Rivers State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Emmanuel Ogbumgbada, has shed light on why those intending to go into marriage should undergo a “drug integrity test”.
Ogbumgbada, who is the Public Relations Officer of the State Command of the agency, said that the proposal originally mooted by the Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Retd Col. Mustapha Mohammed Abdallah, is to ensure that the institution of marriage will be protected.
He said that the proposal was made by the NDLEA boss in Maiduguri while destroying some drug exhibits in that city.
The image-maker quoted the Chairman and Chief Executive to have said that the home should be in order because it is the first moulding place for the individual and as such intending couples should undergo a drug integrity test to ensure that no drug-related problems would come up in the family after marriage.
Ogbumgbada explained that the drug integrity test should be compared to genotype and other tests done by intending couples before they get married.
He said: “He (NDLEA chairman and chief executive) proposed that intending couples should undergo (a) drug integrity test so as to be able to curb any aftermath of drug dependence or drug disorder that may arise in the family after marriage”.
The Public Relations Officer explained that the step would be needed to avoid break-up in marriage as a result of drug use by either of intending couples after marriage.
Ogbumgbada said: “One of the negative consequences of drug abuse is family disintegration. Sometimes you discover that a family that is infested with drug-use disorder maybe the man or the woman will begin to cause some sort of family disharmony and before you know it there is a disintegration of the family. Probably the man is the drug abusing partner (and) will begin to mete violence on his wife and before you know it the children will be directionless in their development and there is a big problem in the family”.
He said that partners who are into drugs would be bad role models for their children who might learn from their parents.
He added that the behaviour could lead to “negative consequences” in the wider society.
The image-maker said that the proposal should not be seen as infringing upon the rights of others and preventing them from getting married.
He said that the step is to ensure that there will be no problem in the family and added that the NDLEA boss was not insisting that those with drug problems should be criminalized.
He said those with drug problems would undergo treatment and rehabilitation and would go back into their marriage.