The Increasing Rate of Drug Abuse Among Nigerian Youths
The increase in the cases of drug and substance abuse among youths in the country today is alarming and terrifying. The youth population has taken solace in drug use, and the increasing rate of drug use is appalling. Marijuana, Codeine, Tramadol, Cocaine, and other heavy drugs capable of endangering lives are being taken by the youth nowadays. This is gradually the productivity of our youths, and therefore affecting the country.
The Nigerian Senate even recently announced that over three million codeine bottles are being consumed per day in Kano and Jigawa state – the announcement was a revelation about how the consumption of hard drugs are rampant.
The alarming rate of drug abuse made the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) conduct an investigation which they aired on their cable channel. This contributed to the reason why the Federal Government banned the production and the importation of Codeine. It is, however, regrettable that the syrup is still being imported into the country illegally, due to the country’s porous borders.
To understand the debilitating challenge plaguing the country as regards drug and substance abuse, in November 2018, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepted 581 million Tramadol tablets at Apapa port. It’s a huge blow to the fight against the consumption of Tramadol in the country. Even in Ondo state, two hundred hectares of Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp) cultivation were recently destroyed by NDLEA agents in the state, and 137 drug offenders were paraded
Sadly, the youths also sniff urine, takes fermented sewage for the main purpose of getting high. In the Northern part of the country, there are many reported cases of the youths moving closer to soak-away/sewage waste in order to get high. Glues and adhesives are also being taken. Disheartening!
The effects of drug abuse are enormous: it leads to lung cancer, mental illness, poverty, affects relationships, chronic pains, brain damage. The consumers of drugs who are addicted to hard drugs do not give a damn of expending their money totally on consuming hard drugs. This, therefore, wreck their lives and they up being a poverty-stricken person. Also, a visit to any psychiatric home now is proof of how hard drugs contributes to the mental disease in the country. Recently, the Federal Government released a statistics stating that 40 million Nigerians suffer mental illness. The intake of hard drugs among Nigerians is playing a major ‘role’ in the increasing number of people suffering from mental disorder.
The Federal Government needs to also inject funds to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) so that the agency can be committed in the fight against drug abuse. Adequate funding to the agency will ensure NDLEA to tackle and seriously curb the manufacturing, consumption, and trafficking of drugs, that are capable of damaging the health of citizens.
Meanwhile, the National Orientation Agency must also not rest on their oars to orientate and sensitize the youth population about the effects of drug abuse on their body, and also how it negatively affects the society. The campaign must be aggressively pursued, and also taken to the length and breadth of the nation in order for the youths to be informed and aware. Non-Governmental Organizations established with the sole aim to fight against substance abuse must also continue with their sensitization campaigns.
Nigeria’s cultural ambassadors must also do the needful. They belong to the influential class in the country, and they should not be seen promoting the consumption of hard drugs. Most youths consume drugs because their mentors do so. Music icons must stop promoting hard drugs intake in their songs. It influences the lives of the youths negatively, and they should start using their songs to preach against the menace.
The country can be successful in the fight against the menace. Drug Abuse is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. We must stem the tide urgently, before it consumes us, and damage our society.