Drug Abuse and Nigerian Youths.

By Yunasa Usman Chindo.

The current health situation of Nigerian Youths most especially men and Women is disheartening and worrisome considering their engagement into hard drug abuses , in which over 11 percent population of youth in Nigeria take hard drugs like Syrup, tramadol, Diazepam, cocaine, Shisha mix among others.

A report from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said Around 275 million people used drugs worldwide in the last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders, according to the 2021 world drug report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). As the 2018 National Drug Use Survey revealed, in Nigeria at that time there were around 14.3 million drug users of which close to 3 million suffered from a drug use disorder.

The World Drug Report further noted that in the last 24 years cannabis potency had increased by as much as four times in parts of the world, even as the percentage of adolescents who perceived the drug as harmful fell by as much as 40 per cent, despite evidence that cannabis use is associated with a variety of health and other harms, especially among regular long-term users. A worrisome trend, considering that there are 11 million cannabis users in Nigeria, a third of whom seemed to be regular users with a need for drug counselling.

Between 2010-2019 the number of people using drugs increased by 22 per cent, owing in part to global population growth. Based on demographic changes alone, current projections suggest an 11 per cent rise in the number of people who use drugs globally by 2030 – and a marked increase of 40 per cent in Africa, due to its rapidly growing and young population. In Nigeria, this would signify that the country will have to grapple with approximately 20 million drug users by 2030 further deepening the public health and public security challenge.

According to the latest global estimates, about 5.5 per cent of the population aged between 15 and 64 years have used drugs at least once in the past year, while 36.3 million people, or 13 per cent of the total number of persons who use drugs, suffer from drug use disorders. In Nigeria, with 14.4% the drug use prevalence is significantly higher than the global average.

In our local environment, you will find out a housewife is taking Syrup just to sleep why because her husband is not always staying at home, with this small reason she will start using hard drugs, also one of worrisome thing is that a young girl will also engage in such kind of behavior by taking syrup and Shisha as well through mingling with bad friends, but they take this as passion not knowing that it has negative impact in their health status, just like smoking as they said “Smoker’s a liable to die young.”

I will commend the National drug law enforcement agency NDLEA under the able leadership of General Muhammad Buba Marwa Rtd for his commitment in ensuring that he sanitize the country from drug abuses, but I want to urged NDLEA and relevant authorities to take necessary action for those who find guilty of supplying this hard drugs into the country in order to face the wrap of the law.

Lastly I want to emphasize on parents to always put effort in ensuring that their children are mingling with good friends and also monitor all their day to day activities, and to Nigerian youths more especially Men and Women, you should avoid using hard drugs because you are putting your life in danger, take a look a motorcycle his peace is to bring out smoke ,but as a human being you take smoke into your body, this indicate that you will not leave peacefully because it bring about diseases like lungs cancer, hepatitis C among others.

Yunusa Usman Chindo writes from the department Of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi.

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