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How drugs, alcohol, sex are killing Nigeria’s youths

In the past few days, the discussions around the deadly effects of alcohol, narcotics, drug use and abuse have been at fever pitch, due to the death of promising youths especially in the Nigerian entertainment scene. Most recent of such fatal occurrence is the death of Tagbo, who passed away as he was celebrating his birthday; this triggered a series of arguments about the negative effects of alcohol abuse. Following the trend in

the society; increased marijuana consumption or growing cases of alcohol abuse, substance abuse among teenagers and young adults poses a serious challenge to our society. In fact, poll results released by NOI Polls Limited revealed that almost 9 in 10 Nigerians (90 per cent) believe the highest abusers of drugs and substance are teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 29 years old. Furthermore, the results show that the most abused substance in Nigeria is marijuana followed by Codeine (Cough Syrup) and Alcohol (in whatever from). The key causes for the rise in drug and substance abuse are listed as poverty and unemployment. These were the key findings from the drugs and substance poll conducted in July 1st 2013.

Today, the rate at which youths use narcotic substances and alcohol has reached an alarming rate in Nigeria creating a huge concern for many. Many studies and surveys have found that a large percentage of people who abuse drugs and alcohol are teens still in secondary schools or higher institutions of learning. Studies conducted by renowned organisations have also shed light on the fact that teens and college students have at least experimented with drugs or alcohol at one time or another, even if they don’t abuse them. According to Dr. Wale Adebisi, a medical doctor at the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan, the rate of alcohol and drug abuse, these days is dreadful. Speaking to Friday Treat recently, he said, “We are having so many youths admitted to many rehabilitation centres around the country on a daily basis. Male and female, many of them come from well-to-do homes, so this trend is not caused by poverty. In fact, some of the hard drugs and spirits don’t come cheap.

“Many people become addicted to harmful substances at a young age which can continue into adulthood. A large percentage of people in recovery at drug and alcohol rehab centres consist of young adults. Abusing harmful substances such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol negatively affects both the physical and mental health of a teenager, and drug and alcohol abuse may lead to various other complications.
“When questioned, many of the affected patients are found to have been initiated into the routine either by peer pressure, entertainment avenues (music videos and leisure outfits), family etc. Parents and the society in general need to be more aware about how vulnerable present day youths are and help them cope with pressure”, he said.
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