Three million suffer drug abuse in Nigeria, says report
A recent report worldwide on drug abuse has indicated that about three million Nigerians suffer from drug abuse out of over 36 million people world-wide.
The report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also stated that Nigeria has 14.3 million drug users. This was disclosed yesterday during a one day sensitisation workshop on drug abuse and immorality, religious and social approaches to curbing the menace organised by Youth and Civil Society for Development.
Presenting a paper on Danger’s of Drug Abuse, Consequences, and Prevention, the National Chairman and Chief Executive of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, (Retd), represented by the agency’s director in Jigawa, Mrs Maryam Sani stated drug markets on the dark web only emerged a decade ago, but major ones are now worth US $315 million in annual sales.
Although this is just a fraction of overall drug sales, she said the trend is upwards with a four-fold increase between 2011 to mid 2017 and mid 2017 to 2020.
According to her, rapid technological innovation, combined with the agility and adaptability of those using new platforms to sell drugs and other substances is likely to usher in a globalized market where all drugs are more available and accessible everywhere. This in turn could trigger accelerated changes in patterns of drug use and entail public health implications, according to the report.
On drug abuse addictions, she said a nationwide survey of high schools students in the country has revealed that 65 per cent used drugs to have a good time with their friend’s, 54 per cent wanted to experiment to see what it is like, and 20- 40 per cent used it to alter their moods, just to feel good, relax, or to relieve tension.
She said: “In order to overcome drug abuse amongst our youths and students, certain measures such as influence of peer group, curiosity and desire in finding the effectiveness of drug abuse, environmental condition, lack of parental supervision among other societal problems must be identified with a view to tackling the menance.
“NDLEA as one of the federal agencies will not relent in our efforts in preventing illegal practice of drug abuse, prevention and control through the adoption of stern measures, and penalties for the offender’s in our bid to cleanse the society of bad egg’s and Immorality among our teeming youths and students.”
In his keynote address, , a Deputy Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Federal University Dutse, Dr. Mustapha Hussein Danjuma noted that youths are rated among the high risk category of drug abuse in the country, whereas society’s wide use and abuse of drugs and substances is encouraged by the entire general public’s conception that they can never abstain from all drug use.
In his remarks, a former Executive Director, NAFDAC, Ubale Hashim called for preventive control measures from security and federal agencies such as NAFDAC and NDLEA, as well as parents and community to check drug abuse.
The National President of Youth and Civil Society for Development, Comrade Aminu Aminu said the public lecture was aimed at focusing on consequences of the menace on societal disintegration of social vices as it affects societal growth and development.