What hope is there for the future of the Nigerian youth? When drugs and substance abuse is the order of the day.
Drugs, according to Wikipedia are substances which cause a physiological change in the body and often administered by a trained medical personnel I.e Medical Doctor.
Nowadays, however, use of drugs have turned into a recreational activity, especially among youths who use the drugs the way they are originally not meant for.
I used to know a friend of a friend when I was in 200level we called him Swaggu, he was a very intelligent student. He was depressed over his first semester results and complained to his friend that he couldn’t read as a result of over sleeping. The friend gave him some drugs to take which kept him awake and enable him study for his second semester exams. He thought he was on his way to become a brighter student without realizing the damage he is doing to himself, when he did it was too late. It got to a point that he couldn’t do without the drug. He started doing unusual things, he failed his exams and was withdrawn from school, he began to steal from his neighbors in order to get money to purchase drugs until he eventually became wrecked. He is now more of a mad man than the intelligent Swaggu I knew. What a tragedy!
Cases like Swaggu’s are not unusual, it happens every day. Some people take it with good intentions like Swaggu which eventually turn bad. Some take it just to feel high which is very bad.
Some of the problems of drug abuse often start with the influence of peer groups. Some take drugs to boost their confidence and make them confident enough to face the crowd, some take it to be able to perform well in bed, some take it in order to feel among. From petty abuses of drugs such as panadol, tramadol, codeine etc. They then graduate into harder substances like; Marijuana, cocaine (which is called POWDER/ELUBO in the street) Rohypenol, Morphine, Petroleum, Excreta and so on.
Drugs addiction has so many harmful effects on the addict, the first sign could be detected when a child starts misbehaving, starts skipping classes, starts stealing and becomes totally withdrawn. The addict may start having academic problems due to his absence from school which will consequently make him a school drop out like Swaggu.
Health problems will be the next. A new drug addict would have consistent cough, headache, body pains and total weakness of the body. It also destroys the lungs, kidney and finally the brain which will make him psychologically unstable. It affects their appearance too, some drug addicts often look unkempt, you would see a drug addict with a coiled hair like that of a goat who just had an unfortunate encounter with water.
Youths in this country should be sensitized from time to time about the dangers of drugs addiction. All they need from their parents, Guardian and loved ones are love, encouragement and guidance. They need to be informed about the influence of the wrong set of friends. And parents should be mindful of the kind of the environment they bring up their children because environment influences youths a lot.
When a child becomes hooked on a drug, delay is dangerous. The affected child should be sent to a rehabilitation centre immediately and not get carted from churches to mosques to Babalawo’s house.
The earlier the youths realize they don’t have to do things to please their friends, the better for our society and country. May we always be wise enough to know the right from wrong and what benefits us and what doesn’t.
Say NO to drugs and substance addiction.
AJANI TUNDE YUSSUF
PS: How else can drug and substance abuse get reduced or totally eradicated? Because it seems the measures often employed are not working. You can join the discussion on my Facebook page or my Twitter Handle @Kanzahsays