NDLEA decries new trend of drug abuse in Ondo
• Impounds over 200 litres of Skushies, seeks state support for prosecution
Over 200 litres of illicit substances, popularly known as ‘Skushies’ were impounded in Ondo State by the state command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The Guardian gathered that the investigation unit of the agency sprang into action from a tip-off from people and swooped on various places where the substance was sold in Akure metropolis at the weekend, prohibiting the sale of such illicit substances.
While speaking with our correspondent yesterday, the state NDLEA commander, Mohammed Malami Sokoto, said drug abuse has been an age-long menace, like “monkey-tail,” which is the blend of cannabis, alcohol and other substances.
He explained that ‘Skushies’ is a blend of cannabis, tramadol, benylin, zobo beverage and other depressant and stimulants, based on preliminary analysis by the agency to identify the patterns and trends among the youths.
The contraband, neatly packaged in tasty time containers and recovered from the sellers, were displayed by the Assistant State Commandant, Admin and Logistics, Ibrahim Mohammed Bashiru, and the Principal Staff Officer, Investigation Unit, Mohammed A. Ibrahim.
Sokoto added that the preparation of Skushies differs from one environment to another, but said the final expert report analysis would help to ascertain the components and define the course of prosecution to be taken. “It is a preparation of various types of psychoactive drugs and we didn’t want to work on assumption,” he stated, revealing that samples had been sent to NAFDAC for valid expert analysis.
Sokoto lamented that drug abuse had caused a lot of deaths and unquantifiable havoc in the northern part of the country, expressing fears that Skushies might become a big threat in the south like Benylin, which is endangering many lives in the north.
“This is a very funny issue just like the problem in the north where you see a lot of youths taking Benylin (cough syrup). It is the most commonly abused drug in the north, even more than cannabis, especially among married women. A lot of marriages have broken up because of cough syrup; a lot of women cannot get married because they take cough syrup to get sensation.”
On the prosecution of offenders, he lamented that there is a stiff clog in the wheel of prosecution against Skushies because it is a new trend of drug abuse, which the NDLEA Act does not provide the loco standi for prosecution.
According to the NDLEA boss, “codeine is prohibited, if you are arrested with it, you can be prosecuted by law; but benylin is a legal drug, one cannot be prosecuted for it. It is now combined and you cannot separate codeine from benylin because they are mixed together to make skushies.”