By odianose on May 21st, 2009
A research on how drug abuse and trafficking affect youths in Nigeria and how it can be controlled.
- Drug abuse is now a common phenomenon in our society of today that we need not look far to feel it .The effect too is so glaring on users and traffickers that for some it has become a source of livelihood despite international effort to stem the trade while others have become psychological dependant on it such that it has become a part of their lives.
- The history of drug abuse is as old as mankind existence but it only gained prominence lately when the impact was becoming a social menace
- Recent statistics have shown that over 60 percent of youths are involved in drug abuse despite efforts to discourage them from taking hard drugs including secondary school and university students
- Again it has been reported that the commonest of hard drugs abused is Marijuana or Cannabis popularly called “Igbo” or “weed” in local parlance in Nigeria because it is cheap and easy to get anywhere unlike Cocaine or Heroine that are commonly abused by those in higher class of the society
- Many youths graduate from smoking cigarettes into taking Indian hemp. And this habit is quickly cultivated due to association with peers who take it.
- People who take Indian hemp are actually refereed to as “AREA BOYS” in local language and they become tools in the hand of politicians especially during political campaign rallies. They use them as thugs to terrorise their opponents and compel others into joining their political parties while others use them to settle different type of scores. Drug abuse normally results to inappropriate behaviour among abusers and addicts.
- There is no doubt that abuse of substance among the youths particularly in Nigeria has continued unabated thereby creating a social problem for both users and the society because they have now become a burden to the state and their family
- Research have shown that when young people indulge in using hard substance such as Indian Hemp it interferes with their learning by impairing their thinking faculty which means they will no longer remember whatever they have learnt. It can also change their sense of time, reduce concentration, distorts coordination heavily. And long time dependence on this substance can affect productive activities and relationships thereby referred to as psychological dependence.
- Although smoking of Indian hemp has been traced to causing Lung Cancer, respiratory problems and early death in young people yet young people still indulge in it. This is why consistent effort must be stepped up by all stakeholders to apply preventive initiatives that will discourage youths from getting addicted to drugs. The youths as we know are very vulnerable set of people who are easily influenced by peer group activities and are prone to risky behaviour.
- In this vein therefore, governments and more Non-governmental organisations must intensify the campaign particularly for those teenagers who are yet to be bugged by the habit and who may be lured into trafficking these drugs in future by drug peddlers
- Also, international donors should increase funding to African governments to increase their capacity to track these traffickers and empower youths through entrepreneurial initiatives
- However on the issue of whether marijuana should be completely banned, unfortunately the majority of respondents disagree and desire to see it legalised or controlled in some form. Although granted this may not be a perfect reflection of the majority of youths everywhere but at least it goes a long way to give us an insight into the feelings and perception of the youths on the control of this substance use so legislators and those responsible for making these laws should be conscious of this.
- On a final note, it suffice to say that we cannot completely eradicate youths involvement in drugs if going by their belief that it should not be banned is anything to go by, but we can at best reduce the rate at which these innocent young people abuse these substances and make the trade difficult for new entrants. Moreover, all hands must be on deck if the war against youth involvement in hard drugs must be won now or in the future.
- Thank you all for your raft attention and the privilege to do this presentation
CAUSES OF DRUG ABUSE