Drugs are an illegal substance that some people smoke, inject, drink, eat for the physical and mental effects it has.
The length and breadth of Nigeria, east, west, north and south, the incidence of young Nigerians abusing substances including codeine, rochephenol, tramadol, heroin, cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) and even different grades of crack cocaine have become prevalent.
The extant laws that prohibit the consumption and sale of marijuana in Nigeria. Drug trading is not only a challenge in the international sense of the word but also that the usage of different harmful narcotic substances including the abuse of prescription medicines by different demographics of the society particularly the youths, constitute a major problem in our society.
According to the UN research, a large percentage of the population especially amongst those aged between 15 to 64 years regularly partake of the psychoactive drug.
My worry is that young people, male and female are being distracted and derailed by the high prevalence of drug abuse and have become willing tools for crime/criminal associations who find it easier to brainwash young people, male and female in their state of alternative reality or what they refer to as ‘highness’.
Every year cannabis takes the lead in drug seizures. In 2010, the NDLEA seized 1174,661.59kg of cannabis and destroyed 632.17 hectares of cannabis plantations nationwide. In 2014, the amount went up to 191, 847.91kg to cannabis is seized and 918 hectares of plantations destroyed.
Students especially those in secondary school tend to see the drug user as one who is tough, bold and strong. Many youngsters have been known to use drugs at the instance of peers, elders or siblings. Students who usually feel inadequate have been known to use drugs to achieve social acceptance.
Drug abuse is a problem that is causing serious concern to both individuals and government all over the world. The problem is prevalent among adolescents who in most cases are ignorant about the dangers inherent in drug abuse. Many of them engage in drug abuse out of frustration, poverty, lack of parental supervision, peer influence and pleasure.
In conclusion, pharmacists should lead the change in ensuring that prescription medications are only sold upon presentation of doctor’s prescription.
It is important for parents, caregivers, guardians, teachers to educate and sensitize children on the disadvantages of drug abuse. We must also pay closer attention to the habits being picked up by our children and wards not only as a family but also as a community.
As I celebrate my 1,000days in office, we must be ready to inform our neighbors of whatever strange mannerisms we notice in each other children because community effort is a more effective means of preventing the spread and continuity of drug abuse. It takes a whole community to train a child.