Drugs are a global problem. Nowhere is this more true than the African country of Nigeria. Rich in oil reserves and corruption, it also is a haven for drug runners. The country is just beginning to fight its drug issues.
As the world commemorates the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit, it is alarming that the country’s incidences of drug abuse have increased by 25 per cent in the last two years. This as reported in ngrguardiannews.com.
Most worrisome is that more children are getting involved in alcohol and substance abuse, portending more danger to the drug addict population.
Besides the increase, also of note is the increase use of dangerous drugs like heroin and cocaine in the last one year. Marijuana was the primary concern just 12 months ago.
One local expert in Lagos, Nigeria estimated that opiates and cocaine use has increased from 5.2 per cent to 11.6 per cent in the last 12 months.
Until now, the government has turned a blind eye toward drug and alcohol problems. But with drug abuse contributing a lot to violence and crime in our country, the government must open its eyes to the existing problem.
Part of the problem may be the extreme poverty many Nigerians suffer from. When people are poor, unemployed, under-employed, lack infrastructural facilities for easy life, family dysfunction and the upsurge of social media that allows more knowledge on very dangerous things, all expose the populace to drug abuse.
It is nice to see the country opening its eyes to the problem. I still would like to see the country implement public drug classes to help educate the poor on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.