Today drugs abuse or drugs addiction is one of the most vexing and pervasive problems that almost all the countries are facing in the world including Nigeria.
The consequence of such addiction, abuse, trafficking or even cultivation can be devastating; unfortunately the youths are the most vulnerable on hard drugs and this brings a lot of adverse effects on the community.
Sadly, the effects of drugs addiction are felt on many levels. Individuals who use drugs experience physical effects due to their drug addiction. Many drug users engage in criminal activity, such as burglary and prostitution, to raise the money to buy drugs, and some drugs are associated with violent behaviour.
Drugs addiction leads to psychological and physiological dependence. The term drugs abuse is used to indicate the excessive consumption of a drug, regardless of whether an individual is truly dependent on it.
Drugs abusers are generally immature, suffering from mental and physical health hazards, emotionally disturbed and psychopathic in nature.
Beyond the personal health issues, beyond the devastating effect on families, beyond community crime statistics, drug addiction has a major impact on the Nigerian economy.
Frankly speaking the national drug law enforcement agency (NDLEA), national agency for food and drugs administration and control (NAFDAC), experts in drug abuse treatment and policy makers, NGOs etc would definitely support my argument on the negative impacts of drug addiction on Nigeria’s economy.
This includes the cost of law enforcement, incarceration, treatments, traffic injuries, lost time in the workplace, etc. Put some of the factors together the alcohol-related and substance-abuse deaths on our streets and highways, the abuse of the health care system by addicts showing up at emergency rooms looking for drugs, the absenteeism on the job and the serious risk of HIV infection for those using needles.
Family and friends feel the effects of drug addiction as well. The user who are preoccupied with the drug usually have changeable mood, which is likely to cause marital problems and poor work performance or dismissal.
Drug addiction can disrupt family life and create destructive patterns of co-dependency; this problem is enormous and can ultimately hinder development across board in the society.
Although in a determined bid to reduce the rate of drug-related offences in Nigeria, national drug law enforcement agency (NDLEA) and national agency for food and drugs administration and control (NAFDAC) have thankfully stepped up the fight against the consumption and trafficking of illicit or hard drugs as the case may be.
Too often, some travellers are caught at the international airports or other exit ports of the country with large consignments of narcotics, especially cocaine, ashis, codeine, rohypnol, cannabis and heroine.
But despite the seeming huge catch, the drug trade is indeed booming, especially as Nigeria serves as a veritable transit point for the global drug trade. One of the reasons why this will remain so is the lack of the needed zeal on the part of both the agency and the judiciary to prosecute offenders.
We believe that with expeditious and diligent prosecution of drug offenders, the number of cases will decrease. Also, the various laws dealing with drug offences need to be reviewed by our state and federal law makers.
Suleiman Isyaku Mohammed writes from Kano, can be reached via08060444491