The Menace of Drug Abuse and a call for Action for a Safer Tomorrow - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Menace of Drug Abuse and a call for Action for a Safer Tomorrow

By : Kehinde Ademuyiwa 

Drugs which are designed for the betterment of humanity, can also bring about detrimental consequences. There is no argument that drugs are created to cure diseases and to alleviate the human condition; however, people may misuse over-the-counter drugs, and this of course is what is called drug abuse. No doubt this has become a social problem because it has afflicted families, the economy, and the community. Drug and alcohol abuse among our youth has become a major public health issue it has also transcended to our teens

Drug abuse is the illicit, non-medical use of a limited number of substances, most drugs have the properties of altering the mental state of a being in ways that are considered by social norms and defined by statute to be inappropriate, undesirable, harmful threatening to the life of the user and the society at large. Alcohol, heroin, cocaine, opium, and marijuana, are some of the drugs abused.

Unarguably, Drug abuse has led to a detrimental impact on the society. It has led to an increase in the crime rate. Addicts resort to crime to pay for their drugs. Drugs remove inhibition and impair judgment, egging one to commit offenses. Incidences of eve-teasing, group clashes, assault, and impulsive murders increase with drug abuse. Apart from affecting financial stability, addiction increases conflicts and causes untold emotional pain for every member of the family. Surprisingly, these drug users are within the age group of 16 years and above, therefore, the loss in terms of human potential is incalculable. The damage to their physical, psychological, moral, and intellectual growth then becomes very high.

Drug abuse has been a pandemic to all concerned stakeholders, government, researchers, and society as a whole. It has greatly affected the social, economic, and political progress and development of our nation. Substance addiction continues to be the principal source of establishing anti-social behavior associated with health hazards among our young ones today.

 Even with the dangers or consequences associated with it, youth continuously take the drugs to their detriment. Drug abuse has grown and affecting almost every country in the world. The unprecedented increase in drug abuse has now created a serious problem ranging from the formation of illegal groups to cause havoc, an increase in violence, cultism, and the creation of related groups vulnerable to committing crimes and undermining the progress and development of society

Surprisingly, in recent years, the rate of drug abuse among our youth has now taken a new dimension as they are no longer confined to traditional substances but now to a higher level of unimaginable and unconventional substances. This shift goes beyond the ordinary, presenting a complex challenge that demands urgent attention. The alarming surge in the use of these unconventional substances among the youth has now raised serious concerns within the established authority (NDLEA)

A recent story published by many national newspapers last week has it that Youth now try to get intoxicated by taking Lizard dung, camel urine, Lipton soaked in gin, and mentholated spirits mixed with soft drinks, they inhale toilet fumes, gutter dirt, and 10-day-old human Urine.

Another recent story from Sierra Leone also reports that a new drug is wreaking havoc within the country, turning many of its youngsters into “zombies” Some of these drugs were said to be made from human bone fragments.

No doubt, the prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria and the negative impact on public health and safety necessitate that all hands be on deck to curtail the challenge in our country.

The everyday campaign led by the NDLEA to enhance the well-being and safety of our nation. This is particularly crucial for the youth, who represent the future leaders of our country

In this critical juncture, schools, communities, voluntary organizations, youth bodies, and religious institutions must rally together and launch a collective effort against the menace of drug abuse. The gravity of the situation necessitates a united front to wage a war on this societal challenge. Each stakeholder holds a pivotal role in shaping a resilient and drug-free environment. By standing up against drug abuse, we pave the way for a healthier and safer community, fostering a future where individuals can thrive without the shackles of substance misuse. It is an opportune moment for concerted action, as the collective endeavors of these diverse entities will undoubtedly contribute to building a society that prioritizes the well-being and prospects of its citizens, particularly the younger generation.

Particularly, the National Youth Council of Nigeria, as the constituted youth body, holds a significant role in intensifying its efforts to revive the younger generation and liberate them from the clutches of drug abuse.

While I recognize the body’s already established active campaign against drug abuse, yet, there is an urgent need for them to be persistent and escalate their efforts. While their past initiatives have laid a foundation, the battle against drug abuse demands continuous commitment and heightened actions. Through sustained campaigns and additional endeavors, the council can further expand its positive impact on the younger generation. Consistency and heightened efforts will not only reaffirm their dedication to combating drug abuse but also make substantial contributions to fostering a safer and healthier environment for the youth.

Kehinde Ademuyiwa









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