Mental Health Awareness
One can say they are healthy when there is complete physical, mental or social fitness. Thus, a mental health issue makes an individual ill and needing immediate attention. Depression, autism and schizophrenia are a few widespread mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the fourth most common cause of death for those aged 15 to 29 worldwide.
As much as two decades earlier than expected, people with serious mental illnesses pass away owing to curable medical diseases. The theme for the 2022 World Mental Health Day was ‘Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Global Priority’. Thus, highlighting that mental health needs should be regarded as an issue of great importance. Unknown to most people, depression raises the likelihood of diverse physical health issues, especially chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In a similar vein, having chronic illnesses raises one’s likelihood of developing mental disease, as stated by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although drug abuse are the biggest precursors to depression, the socioeconomic outlook of the country dims any hope of prosperity in the nearest future, a source of depression in its own class. The price of 1 kg of gas was pegged at N350 in January 2022 and by December, it was sold for N850. This factor contributed to an increased in the cost of made meals, the search for alternatives to quell hunger amongst youths and the desire for stimulants, which would ameliorate stomach pangs for food and at the same time elicit an amazing feeling.
According to the 2021 World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UDOC), around 275 million people used drugs globally in the past year, and more than 36 million people experienced drug use disorders. 14.4 per cent of Nigerians are currently abusing drugs.
This custom is widespread in educational institutions and leisure facilities like hotels and nightclubs. Nigeria has seen a marked increase in the number of reported mental illnesses; this is in part due to the nationwide penetration of the internet, which has led to more people expressing themselves. In contrast to other diseases, mental health issues can be managed for a reasonable price, but the majority of mentally ill people receive no care or therapy at all.
Jatau, a pharmacist in conjunction with other researchers in 2021 documented that cannabis, codeine and tramadol are some of the medicines that are most frequently abused in Nigeria. The more popular opioid, tramadol, is a prescription drug because of its high level of addiction potential.
It is used to treat pain and, particularly for people who suffer from insomnia, it helps them fall asleep. Possible side effects associated with taking tramadol include lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. However, it is a quick-paced energiser when used excessively.
This is advantageous because the majority of men in the Northern part of Nigeria work hard with their hands, feet, and muscles to support their families. Therefore, the stamina gained by using these medications is essential for their survival. Tramadol can induce physical and mental dependence if taken frequently and without discretion, and long-term use can harm brain cells’ nerve endings, which can result in neurological problems like seizures, parkinsons disease; kidney and liver damages, respiratory ailments.
The excessive use of drugs and alcohol to experience the euphoric ‘high’ and feel alright is another factor contributing to the rise in the prevalence of mental diseases. This is the preferred form of enjoyment or self-gratification as it’s a cost-effective form to alleviate boredom and the notion of insignificance, owing to the high expense of living in Nigeria, the lack of employment prospects, and the absence of social programs for those unable to support themselves.
According to the Gombe State command of the NDLEA, women and adolescent girls resident in towns within Gombe save up their sanitary pads and tampons, and cook them by heating, since the chlorine extract from these products is adequate for hallucinations.
In Jigawa State, similar reports have been made available. Since drug trafficking and use carries the death penalty, adolescent girls in Indonesia are also following this trend.
The need to feel ‘high’ using this medium is gradually becoming customary practice since it is a less regulated approach to ‘having fun’. People can experience hallucinations when they’re high and also when they stop taking alcohol or drugs. Drug-induced hallucinations are usually visual, but they may affect other senses dependent on the body physiology, quantity ingested and the frequency of use.
A natural ease to this epidemic would be the creation of job opportunities, which would keep the youths gainfully employed, as well as enable them with funds for decent meals. For the benefit of their future, families, and the commonwealth of the country, kindly counsel any young Nigerians affected by this fad and inform them of the likely outcome of this strange behaviour.