With worrisome statistics that additional and additional of teenagers and youth are finding addicted to drugs, professionals are calling for concerted efforts by the government to rid the nation of the scourge, writes FEMI OGUNSHOLA
A new pandemic is raging and ravaging the active population of the nation – youths and professionals are worried that the ideal consideration is not but drawn to it or methods in spot to arrest the scourge.
Neuro-psychiatrists are raising the alarm that drugs and drug addiction have left even its regular space and slipping into key and secondary schools across the nation.
Checks revealed that in several public schools, even teenagers are becoming dangerously hooked to thoughts-bending drugs. They are consequently urging parents to be additional involved in kid-rearing and not leave the grooming of their young children or wards to teachers.
Dr Yusuf Misau, Division of Neighborhood Medicine, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, mentioned addiction in what ever kind has develop into a silent reality that Nigerians ought to be concerned about.
He mentioned that “drug abuse is a curse on the society since it comes at heavy price with terrible implication on the person and the neighborhood at massive.
Authorities at a workshop on the dangers of drug abuse and addiction to national improvement decried the involvement of Nigerian youths in the deviant act.
They blamed the prevalence of the act partly on poor parental upbringing and terrible peer group influences, amongst other individuals.
Participants at a capacity developing workshop, organised by Green Crescent Well being Improvement, in collaboration with the International Federation of Green Crescent, have been drawn from neighborhood-primarily based non-governmental organisations.
The theme of the workshop is: “Universal Addiction Advocacy Campaign Intervention.”
The United Nations Workplace on Crime and Drugs (UNODC), listed cannabis sativa as the most abused drug in Nigeria, by youths amongst 20-29 years.
Dr Mohammed Audi, the President of Green Crescent Well being Improvement, stressed the need to have to help drug addiction prevention and also invest in the youths and other vulnerable population.
The prevention campaign, according to him is aimed at advertising wholesome behaviour.
Audi mentioned that maintaining drug use prevalence low and continually lowering it remained the ideal prevention, noting that stopping harm from occurring in the most price-successful.
He also mentioned drug policies have to be “human rights-primarily based, gender-sensitive and age-proper.’’
Mr Khaleel Abdullahi, a legal practitioner, mentioned drug trouble is as old as man, noting that no society is immune to the damaging consequences of illicit drugs.
He, nevertheless, mentioned the problem assumed worrisome dimensions at the finish of the Second Globe War, following the return of some Nigerian soldiers from Burma and India.
Abdullahi mentioned some of the soldiers returned property with the seeds of the cannabis sativa which they experimented, and found it could develop properly in some components of the nation.
He noted that, with time, the cultivation of cannabis sativa became well-liked, though the consumption also expanded.
He added that addiction, in all its ramifications remained the principal trigger of low productivity, social vices, crimes, illnesses, upheavals, suicide and political rascality specifically in creating society.
Abdullahi mentioned that substance addiction, such as drugs and alcohol trigger clinical and functional impairments and disability, which in some cases lead to failure to meet main responsibilities.
According to him, behavioural addiction is what an person learns more than time and becomes element of such person, which involve gambling, playing cards, chess and ludo, amongst other individuals.
“Technological addiction is otherwise identified as Online Addiction Disorder (IAD) is a new phenomenon, but currently taking a new dimension in wellness practice.’’
He noted that although alcohol addiction is element of substance addiction, Nigerian law permits the licensing of breweries and beer parlours.
The only warning it provides according to the lawyer is, “Drink responsibly” or “Do not drink and drive.”
He stated that technological addiction, according to Nigerian law, is but to be regulated, the duration somebody stays on-line or on a certain internet site, or a internet site exactly where a kid ought to not stop by.
On gambling and other games of opportunity, he stated that Nigerian law is not discouraging gambling, but rather encourage it.
According to him, Nigerian law does not frontally address tobacco addiction, even with the existence of the National Tobacco Manage Act 2015.
“Companies are only asked to promote that smoking kills or the failed try that no one particular ought to smoke in public gatherings.’’
The legal practitioner noted that these statements have been as well charitable, adding that the implementation of the act is expected to address addiction.
Abdullahi also mentioned that the campaign on addiction prevention ought to be taken down to all strata of the society, specifically schools exactly where the leaders of tomorrow are getting groomed.
He named on government agencies entrusted with the mandate to fight addiction to reside up to their responsibilities and make certain they recruit the ideal men and women for the jobs.
“Whether chemical, behavioural or digital, is a scourge not only in the individual’s brain, but also on the vast majority of communities in Nigeria and the majority of concerned citizens crave to reside in communities free of charge from addiction and addiction-connected harm.’’
Dr Tajudeen Abiola of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, named for a extensive neighborhood-wide action to curb the trouble.
He mentioned the trouble ought to be solved via an integrated and evidenced-primarily based strategy, adding that there have to be neighborhood involvement.
According to him, we are painfully conscious of the destructive effect of alcohol, tobacco and gambling industries in the nation.
“We are deeply concerned about the emergence of on-line gaming, amongst other individuals, that market drug use and e-gaming for private profit, causing substantial harm, specifically to the youths and vulnerable group.’’
Mr Abdullahi Baba-Husseini, Assistant Comptroller Basic, Narcotics (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), mentioned the collective work was the only panacea to addressing the challenges of substance abuse.
He disclosed that no fewer than 14 per cent of Nigerians abuse various substances via addiction.
He listed the substances largely abused as Tramadol, Benylin with codeine, adding that a higher percentage of ladies have been involved in drug abuse.
He mentioned the agency has stepped up methods to produce awareness on drug abuse and its dangers, and named on state governments to involve drug education in the college curriculum.
He mentioned with the inclusion of drug education in the college curriculum, young men and women would be conscious of the dangers inherent in indiscriminate drug use.
Baba-Husseini added that with increasing population, the agency had low manpower to tackle the developing addiction, stressing that additional partnership was necessary to tackle drug addiction in the nation.
Ogunshola is of the News Agency of Nigeria