Drug abuse among the brimming youths has taken new social dimension larger than what it shows in few decades ago —substance misuse was flagrant among few crooks on streets and in hidden places. More bothersome is the fact that substance abuse is now outrageous in open places without the concern of been seen or caught by either parents, religion leaders, elderly ones and even law enforcement agencies. It is more vexing that we could hardly find an higher institution of learning alongside Secondary Schools and Primary Schools free of drug abusers. The number of drug users in Nigeria is estimated at 14.4 per cent or 14.3 million people aged between 15 and 64 years according to the results of the National Drug Use Survey (NDUS, 2019). This shows that the prevalence of past year drug use in Nigeria is more than twice the global average of 5.6 per cent (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes, 2019).
According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs” (WHO, 2016). Drugs are introduced into the body by several routes, drugs may be taken through mouth —orally—, injection into vein or into muscle —intravenously or intramuscularly respectively—, drugs may be also placed under the tongue or between the gum and cheek —buccally—, insertion of drugs through the rectum or vagina —viginally, this sound weird—, administration of drugs through eye or ear —by the ocular route or by the otic route—, spraying drugs into the nose and absorbed through the nasal membrane, drugs are also breathed into the lungs usually through mouth —by inhalation (Staysafe, 2017). The doubt with me is, why would individuals put themselves in harms way by taking dangerous substances? The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency argue that “the menace in the country was not unconnected with the fact that today’s youths sought quick ways to get rich” (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, 2019).
Nevertheless, when someone is a drug addict, the control is mainly out of individual’s capacity, being an addict could be geared from the belief that the drug could improve the individual physically and psychologically. Peer pressure, unstable home, absence or abusive parents, emotional problems are also considered factors to abuse substances. When someone is abusing drugs recurrently, the basic things the relatives will notice are: Physical signs —the individual —clothes or person— smelling like drugs, the individual straying from their normal routine —changes in the person’s behaviour. Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana, Coiden, Stimulants, Prescription drugs few among others are citations of abused substances.
Recovery is a long and difficult process and requires commitment from the individual and support from their families and loved ones (Gethelp, 2018). However, it is possible to recover, one of the most difficult steps is getting through the withdrawal phase, symptoms such as feelings of anxiety, depression, seizures, restlessness can last for several days or even several months. The length and severity of the symptoms is based on the type of drug, how it was abuse, how much was abused, as well as medical history on the abused drug. Get-rich-quick syndrome is the problem. The consequences of drug abuse must be propagated so that we can all tackle it. Both public and private must be involved in the war against drug abuse,” (NDLEA, 2019).
Drug abuse is what Nigerian teeming youths need to cut down on, this is because the prospect is frustrating the community in large picture which is causing a few unaffected youths to be lured with the feeble emotional satisfaction they abusers claimed to derive from drugs. substance misuse is eating the society it makes future of our youths appear as a mirage —seems like no hope for the future of our country. All hands have to be on the deck to ensure a drug free society. We need to tackle it. Abusers commonly believe they can kick their drug habit without any help or support. Nevertheless we need to tell them the end product of abusing drugs and the way out of it.