Losing The Battle To Drug Abuse? By Olusegun Fashakin

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By Olusegun Fashakin

Since inception, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has been fighting the war against illicit drugs peddling around the society. It seems nothing is done with the height of proliferation of drugs through the shores of this nation. The financial gains of this criminal act have beclouded the conscience of these smugglers that they see nothing wrong in the consequences of hard drugs on humanity. The struggle to curb this menace continues with almost clueless approach as the bootleggers outsmart the eagle’s eye of NDLEA officials.

It becomes precarious when this defeat would end as many streets are overturned by urchins who have lost in to the hands of hard drugs right from childhood. A situation far beyond political strength of any leadership and the cultural essence is almost losing its grip. Addicts derive pleasure in taking substances that could make them “high” in all cases. They would go extra mile to mix different brands of bench drugs to attain stimulation. A state of mind far increasingly suggesting abnormalities. Drugs are considered illicit if they are not supported by the national law to be taken without prescriptions: some are restricted from pharmaceutical benches, so they are not to be sold without professional approval.

This prohibition is strictly for the good of the citizens. Drugs are mind-altering and affect some neurotransmitters when the signals get to the neurones. Agents like serotonin and dopamine would receive a nudge from drugs to be transmitted for a serious response. When this happens, moods, pleasures and behaviours are influenced to act otherwise. Drugs like morphine, heroine, opium and cocaine are most prevalent among illicit substances that could alter the functions of the brain. The thinking centre becomes subjected or dependent on drugs for decision-making and other life-changing experiences. This may remain through a lifetime as the abuse advances.

The fight against the indiscriminate use of substances has been in the front burner of stakeholders: religious leaders, school owners, business crusaders among others. However, the level of increase in cases among nations shows the youth at higher risk of crossing the red line. The enthusiasm to aim at getting over board is relatively unimaginable. Among adolescents, drugs and other psychoactive substances have become specimens to experiment with. Between the ages of 10 to 25 years, the level of peer pressure, curiosity and other means of relieving stress take the centre stage of their lives.

Alcohols of different brands are mild addictive exposures to victims of drug abuse. Packaged in different form for retail, it has become addictive substance to many, both young and old. With various percentages, they come in beers, wines and other liquors without enforcement of restrictions. As hazardous as it were to some major organs of the body, some still claim much benefits to health. Alkanols of various classes are used as preservatives in some food industries with serious safety guidelines which may suggest reasons for proliferation in the society to this extent. They are also used as sterilisers to some surgical tools and laboratory apparatuses but not for debauchery.

Drugs are considered hard based on the serious injuries inflicted on the human system. The classification of drugs are done by professionals in the field of pharmacy and other related fields. Some are considered for therapeutic purposes while some for aesthetics. Those for aesthetics come with strong warnings of consequences for long term dependent or pleasures. Those in this category, unfortunately, gets more patronages and flouting that lead to serious addiction and health damages in the long run. Another shocking stories also emanate from the analeptic drugs as patients who may in the past got prescriptions threw caution in the air to self-medicate.

Narcotic drugs take the lead in the society with serious level of proliferation through shores of the country. Airports, seaport and land borders have the highest numbers of arrest of these barons. Those who do drugs take life for granted and become the ridicule of the society when the addiction is advanced. Hard drugs are peculiar to different region of Nigeria: states have their specific or customised form of substances they abuse. Purposes determine what substance will grace the occasion for high or optimum performance as they claim in their clime. The age brackets correspond to the kind of substances that are commonly abused.

Statistical correlation reveals the population that are more involved in the abuse of substances. Youthful exuberance include the factors for doing drugs alongside with peer pressures. Lack of parental control takes another position of drug abuse among the teenagers. Doing drugs starts secretly among peers before becoming full-fledged addict in the open. The fight is almost getting fiercer as the level of exposure is getting more increased. It is just a matter of time, the next generation may see marijuana, opium and other narcotic drugs as normal and tolerant. What do we say of hoodlums, urchins and vagabonds on our streets with “rizzler” already wrapped with cannabis in their hands?

Shisha, Colorado, Heroin, Vodkas among others are household names among addicts. The recruitment is ongoing for young and adults who may succumb to their pressures on advertisements (both sponsored and uncensored). The jobs of NDLEA should not just be restricted to point of entry but also at the place of destinations. So much work has been done by this agency since the inception of the new Director General but so many stones are yet unturned. This may be due to lack of manpower or resources from the government to empower more sophisticated approach to combating this ugly situation. However, the battle is still ongoing and may continue until the right approach is engaged

Olusegun Fashakin, a seasoned educator writes in via olusegunfashakin@gmail.com

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