From our bus park to our secondary school break rooms, illegal substances are being smoked, licked, inhaled and injected by school teachers, nursing mother, aged drivers and teenagers. The number of drug related deaths in Nigeria have skyrocketed and addiction is becoming a real scourge for families trying to make a way for themselves.
How can we stop drug abuse in Nigeria?
One, the government should embark on a more expansive public sensitization on drug abuse and its accompanied effects. This is key as we all know information is power and an informed generation is stronger and better coordinated, the sensitization should be spearheaded by the ministry of information through it’s media houses, the social media and other forms of sensitization which could be written in the three local languages for the understanding of all.
The same way we fought Aids and Polio, the government can adopt the same method to fight drug abuse. To make this more effective, government should seek the support of United Nations’ office on drug and narcotics for necessary support.
Also Non Governmental organizations that have been creating awareness against substance abuse should be supported by relevant government agencies to aid their performance. According to a report more than 40% of Nigerian youth consumes drugs illegally while another resolution by the Nigerian Senate sequel to a motion by Senator Baba Garbai (APC, Borno Central), co-sponsored by 37 other senators entitled The Need to Check the Rising Menace of Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse Among Youths Especially in Northern Nigeria in October 2017 stated that three million bottles of codeine is consumed daily in the North! This is shocking considering the level of religion acceptance in the North. If the north can consume 3m bottles per day then the south will be a more ahead of that.
Bearing this in mind the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in conjunction with the pharmaceutical council of Nigeria should help in addressing this scourge.
Drug Abuse kills, it has no positive contributions other than death and mental issues. Nigerians must rise together to stop this menace.