DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA, CAUSES, EFFECTS AND SOLUTIONS


DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA, CAUSES, EFFECTS AND SOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Drug abuse and the drug menace is the illicit, non- medical use of limited number of substance, most of drugs which have the properties of altering the mental state of a being in ways that are considered by social norms and defined by statute to be inappropriate, undesirable, harmful threatening to the life of the user and to the society at large. Alcohol, heroin, cocaine, opium, marijuana, are some of the drugs abused.

Generally, the youth seem to be the target of this drug menace and its abuse. Curiosity, peer pressure, and availability of drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol are the immediate causes of drug abuse amongst the youth. In the company of bad associates, friends are pressured to indulge in the use of drugs especially, in the senior high schools. The authorities of a renowned Senior High School of whose name is omitted for security reasons aired their concern on this peer pressure in their school and urged parents to advice their wards before bringing them to school. A young student of their school went mad in their school before they realised that it was his peers who influenced him to indulge in the smoking of Indian hemp for him to be accepted into the group.

On our television stations and on our radio stations, there is a “naked” advertisement of alcohol, cigarettes and other non- medicated drugs. These are harmful drugs that are being presented to be good enhancing performance. These drugs are even shown to the public as a laxative and the most annoying thing is that, places where there could be bought in large quantities are announced to the public. This availability of drugs to the youth and the society proves a cause and a canker to society. A teetotaller confessed to me openly that a single alcohol advert on a television network changed his life and now he is an alcoholic.

“Curiosity” it is said “kills the cat”. The youth of today are very inquisitive and curious. They would like to test the efficacy of whatever they see and hear of. This curiosity at times becomes fatal even to the point of death. Some by their curiosity go in to deal with drugs and become addicts. In my vicinity, a young man nearly went mad after smoking “wee” for his first time. Thanks be to the timely intervention of his parents. It is also on record that a boy in the States met his untimely death when he for the first time took “Estacy” a drug to enhance his performance in bed.

In attempts to find income and to survive the changing trends in the economy, the youth indulge in drug trafficking, abuse and peddling with drugs in the name of employment. Today, a lot of the youth are involved in this drug trade. Poverty therefore becomes a prime cause for this drug menace coupled with the negative attitude of the youth. This attitude is the “make money quick”. The youth today has this idiom, “get rich early or die trying”.

The drug trade has become a multi billion dollar business gradually engulfing the globe. Political Leaders across the globe are heavily indulging in this trade. Peru and Afghanistan is a few to mention. They have not sat down to talk of the effects of this trade. Some of the effects of this drug menace are not far fetched;

Prolonged use of drugs cripples the user’s judgement and thinking ability. This leads to a set of complex social medical and psychological problems. A lot people on our highways whom the public think mad are not really mad but have a mess-up of their mind set due to drug usage and if care is not taken, a lot more will join the train of madness if care is not taken.

In connection with the above, the economy is brought to a halt since able bodied men who could have worked enormously to build the nation are involved in the use and trade of drugs. The nation in an attempt to curb this canker uses the small resources at her disposal in the fight against the drug menace thereby leading to deficit and a decline in the economy.

The spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections such as syphilis, Hepatitis C and the deadly disease, HIV/AIDS become rampant. We are made to believe that certain drugs such as alcohol and marijuana tend to arouse the sexual feelings of the user.

This to the best of my knowledge is the cause of the rampant rape cases aired on our radio networks. These unsafe sex behaviours of drug addicts lead to the spread of diseases afore mentioned. After abusing the drug and their sexual feelings arousing, they seek to dispose off these feelings by fair and foul means and victims end up being mothers of bastards and some attracting deadly diseases.

However, drug menace as a social canker can be prevented and curbed. Concerted efforts by the international community to curb this menace have been put in place. The international police is working assiduously to bring to light drug lords and traffickers. The navy and the narcotic control board are together working on the high seas to stop the drug business.

Afghanistan who seems to depend on opium production to survive their economy has been sanctioned. The UN has launched wars on terrorism and drug trafficking in attempt to curb it. The UN has also set apart a day yearly to educate the populace on the need to avoid drugs and drug trafficking.

In 1998, the UN General Assembly in a special session on the global drug menace acknowledged that drug abuse and its illicit trafficking is a global canker and issued a political declaration to counter the threats posed by it. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was the outcome. June 26th in every year has been set apart as an international day against drugs and its illicit trafficking.

Children in schools around the globe have been encouraged to participate in the drug education, “say no drugs, say yes to life” program. The government seems to do this education. It is therefore my plea to the private investors and other cooperate bodies to get involved in this drug education so as to have a nation free of drugs.

Families and other agencies that associated in the up-bringing of the child should also counsel the children on the dangers associated with drugs. Identifying causes should be known by the child so as to draw their attention whenever they go wayward and to retrace their steps.

The addicts who think all is lost for their life should be encouraged, motivated and given hope and support so as to help them start anew.

In a nutshell, drug is dangerous and leads to a total destruction of the wellbeing. Therefore, concerted effort by all should be put in place to stop this menace so as to have a world free of drugs.

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