Drug abuse or use of illicit drugs is increasingly becoming high among youths in Nigeria. It is a disturbing phenomenon whereby a harmful substance is deliberately consumed or taken into the body in order to change the structure or function of the system. It can also mean taking drugs more than what is good or prescribed for the individual by medical experts.
So, when drugs are taken beyond medical prescriptions, in simple language, this is drug abuse. Again, it calls for concern, because a number of youths are serving jail sentences across the country as a result of drug abuse. The effect is grievous resulting in physical, mental and emotional damage of victim’s health. For instance, taking of cocaine, smoking of bad weeds like Indian hemp and other dangerous substances are good examples of drug abuse.
The effects of drug abuse among youths in Nigeria are many ranging from violent crime, cultism, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery and many others.
Recently, there was this sad news of three students in one of the Nigerian Universities who died after taking ‘tramador drugs’ for sexual enhancement. Besides, many have died as a result of clashes between one rival cult group and another.
Again, most drug victims in country run mad in the streets. Others have an unimaginable health depression, brain damage and complete disintegration of the body system.
These health effects and other related consequences of drug abuse addicts are primarily the reason or reasons why various governments of most countries fight drug peddlers. In Nigeria for instance, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) the agency that regulates and prohibits the use of drugs is doing much, but needs much to be done to control and prevent this illicit act.
What then are the causes of drug abuse in Nigeria? What health implications awareness or campaign are being created by both the government especially the agencies responsible to fight the scourge?
1. Influence of Peer Groups: This is one of the causes of drug abuse in Nigeria. Yes! Many victims have confessed of friends luring them into taking drugs to make them feel high or feel relevant in carrying out certain operations. For instance, some individuals are naturally shy and cannot stand to address the opposite sex (woman) not to talk of small crowd. Once this is done, the victims become addicted to drugs taking and indulging in violent crimes like rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and other related offences.
2. Poor Parental Up-bringing: is another cause of drug abuse in Nigeria. For instance, victims of drug abuse are mainly from broken homes, who feel alienated from the society without love and care. They feel depressed and in most cases head-on bent taking drugs and violent.
3. Unemployment: The problem of unemployment in Nigeria today, has taken a new dimension rising so high, posing a great danger to our society. Young school leavers and graduates in all fields of human endeavours have no jobs and are roaming the streets. This social problem coupled with high cost of living and general dissatisfaction in the country has made many frustrated youths to result to drug abuse and violent crimes.
4. Corruption is another cause. Looting of our treasury, embezzlement of public funds, capital flights and other corrupt practices have been the greatest problems that have bedeviled the country, making development difficult to achieve after many years of independent. The frustration and hardship brought about by this social problem compel the ordinary youths to take to the shortest possible cut to life, drug abuse.
5. Egoistic Factor: is another cause of drug abuse in the country. Human beings are by nature have greed, are selfish and ego-driven. He sees his friend driving big cars, paddling a number girls as a tin god. By this, he feels humiliated and dehumanized. His way of reasoning eventually change and he begins to exploit all avenues to aspire higher no matter what it will take him to make it, hence he takes to drug abuse.
What then are the remedies?
1. Parents should monitor their children/ward on the kind of friends they keep. They should try as much as possible to nurture their children in the ways of the Lord.
2. The government through their designated agency (NDLEA) should do more to create awareness on the health danger of drug abuse among youths in the country. For instance, consumption of some drugs are harmful to health. Cigarette smoking which in most cases are the foundation of taking hard drugs and other bad weeds causes cancer of the lungs and other related diseases among youths in the country. So it is advisable for the young ones or adolescent to desist from taking drugs or smoking because they are likely to die young.
3. The government should also do more to revamp our ailing economy by improving on the existing infrastructure in the country. Electricity generation, providing the enabling environment for social, economic and political development that will attract foreign investors into the country. This will no doubt generate employment for the teeming youths and remove them from the streets or drug abuse or smoking Indian hemp and other bad weeds.
4. The campaign against drug abuse should be inculcated in our school curriculum. In addition, the Federal, state and local governments should widen the campaign to cover the nook and cranny of the country.
5. Drug dealers should be dealt seriously and in most cases the farms of such individual should be completely burnt or destroyed.
6. Lastly, doctor’s recommendation on the use of certain drugs should be paramount. Any pharmacy that sells drugs considered harmful without doctor’s recommendation should be sanctioned. Imagine students dying for taking tramador drugs in order to enhance sexual performance. This is very sad.
In conclusion, all hands must be on deck to fight this menace. The government, parents, NGOs and the various relevant agencies should wake up to the challenges posed by this problem, drug abuse which ultimately leads to crime waves and health problems in our country today. We must be determined to rid the country of this social problems and place Nigeria on a sound footing.