15 percent of Nigeria’s population drug addicts – NDLEA
Members of the 2021 Batch C, Stream 1 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have been told that substance abuse and indulging in consumption of illicit and hard drugs could lead to increase in social vices such as crime, insecurity, poverty and death.
They were also told that the consequence of this on the country is that statistically, 20 million Nigerians which represented 15 percent of the population are drug addicts.
This disclosure was made by Njemanze Chuks, Head of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on camp, during an awareness lecture on the evils of substance abuse at the NYSC permanent orientation camp, Ede, Osun State.
Njemanze, who added that risks factors of substance abuse included: strained relationships, academic failure, mental stress and chaotic home environment added that factors which prevented individuals from getting hooked on it included a healthy lifestyle, united home front, success at school or work and a harmonious marriage.
Listing examples of substances that are commonly abused, the NDLEA official stated that they included: alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and concoctions such as monkey tail, skushies, biscuits and cakes laced with cannabis.
While identifying signs of substance abuse as drowsiness, mouth odour, slow breath, sleeplessness, cardiovascular, kidney and liver diseases and psychological issues such as resistance to law enforcement, loss of interest in activities, cheating and lying, he urged corps members to steer clear of these substances as it adversely affects their health including the Central Nervous System.
“Substance abuse develops in stages. The first stage is the initiation/experimental stage where the individual tests out the product.
“The second stage is the occasional users whereby the individual abuses the substance at parties or events.
“At the third stage, the individual goes out looking for substances as a regular user.
“Finally, when a person is addicted to substances, they cannot function properly without those substances.”
He hinted that the first stage in the treatment and recovery from substance abuse is the acknowledgement of an addiction problem.
“This is then augmented with therapy and medication,” he stated.