ACADA

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Menace of Hard Drugs on Nigerian Youths and Campus Students


The current price of certain cough syrup with codeine have experienced over 300% increment; no thanks to its high demands by youth! An observation of most campus birthday parties, club parties and even normal ‘Beer Parlour’ will leave one wondering what is really happening? As a result of the way young folks both male and female use drugs openly without considering the dangers involved in its usage.

You will find out that most people involved in these acts constitute majorly teenagers just seeking admission into tertiary institutions, undergraduates, fresh graduate and youth corps member. They have made the consumption of these substances look so normal, damning all likely consequences of their actions. A number of young people have missed so many life changing opportunities, did things that they will forever regret, some have even mentally imbalance as a result of the reaction of these drugs.
This is indeed a menace that is capable of hampering the growth of the nation in the nearest future. As a whooping number of teenagers who are expected to be future Presidents, Senators, Governors and the likes are joining the group of illicit drug users. What happens if the dude or chic ordained to make things right in Nigeria is swept away while wallowing in the act?

For the records, drug abuse is the consumption of drug apart from medical need or in unnecessary quantities. It can also be an act of taking drugs in excess or without medical prescription.

Drug is any chemical substance that produces a therapeutic and non-therapeutic effect on the body, it is also a substance which when taken can bring about change or alter the metabolism rate of the body.

Within the last decade, the consumption of hard drugs has risen drastically in Nigeria. Traditional drugs and other substances such as alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines and the likes are now being abused.

Teenagers and youths between the of ages 15-30 years constitute the high risk groups with females getting involved than they used to, other groups of abusers are drivers, conductors, civil servants and artistes. However, recent events shows that the rate of abusers is increasing drastically. Substance abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent among the youth of this generation. 

Although recreational drug use is illegal in most countries, yet some of these drugs are easily accessible.

That keep one wondering why they are so much in demands. For some, it’s the thrill, the rush while others aim to escape a deeper emotional pain by numbing themselves with tranquilizers and narcotics, amongst others.

Tranquilizers are drugs which is designed for the treatment of anxiety, fear, tension, agitation, and disturbances of the mind, specifically to reduce states of anxiety and tension while Narcotics are originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with sleep inducing properties.
Marijuana, Rohypnol, Tramadol, Cough Syrup and Cracks amongst others are the most commonly abused drugs by youths across tertiary institution within and outside Nigeria.

Marijuana also known as Mary Jane, Kush, Pot, Cannabis, Blaze, Ganja, amongst other code names, contain psychoactive component which is called Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is thought to have evolved as a botanical self-defense chemical, and is present in a subset of the hemp family of plants. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug and is probably the most easily accessible.

Its side effects include red eyes, increased hunger, dry mouth, paranoia, memory loss and lack of ability to focus, hallucinations, etc. 

Rohypnol popularly known as ‘Ref and Roche’, is most often used as a ‘date rape’ drug. It renders the victim unable to resist; it is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium. Users either crush the pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it, dissolve it in a drink or inject it.

The effects include loss of muscle control, confusion, drowsiness, and amnesia.
Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever used in treating mild or severe pain. It can stop or slow one’s breathing and can also cause seizures. Tramadol may be habit forming, even at regular doses. It is also use as treatment for premature ejaculation during sexual intercourse but may have other negative effects like erectile dysfunction, Itching, drowsiness, constipation, vomiting, and anxiety. 

Some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription cough and cold medicines contain active ingredients that are psychoactive (mind-altering) at higher-than-recommended dosages and are frequently abused for this purpose. 

These drugs are known as “codeine” or “lean”. Young people often mix it with soda for flavor and it’s usually taken with alcohol or marijuana for an extra punch. A variation of “purple drink” is promethazine-codeine cough syrup mixed with alcohol. The side effects include sedated appearance and sluggishness.

Crack, as opposed to powder, is a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked. It offers a short but intense high to smokers. It comes in solid blocks or crystals varying in color from yellow to pale rose or white. Crack is heated and smoked. 
It is called crack because it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated. Crack is riskier and more potent than regular powder cocaine.

Its side effects include becoming mentally derailed, crack users becomes paranoid, defensive and confused. Despite the false sense of power and control when high, as soon as the high is over, the person is likely to be depressed, isolated and secretive. Users may also suffer hallucinations. 

Say no to drug abuse! Let’s discourage as many people as we can to stay away from these cheap drugs, because the foundation of every nation is the education of its youth; if our youths know only how to use drugs, then the future of this nation may be likened to a time bomb that will soon explode! Once again say no to drug abuse!

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