DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUTHS RISING

More Nigerian youths are abusing psychoactive substances and this has grave dangers on the society at large.
This is according to Prof. Isidore Obot of the Department of Psychology, University of Uyo, who said the most abused substances are alcohol, cannabis (Indian hemp), tobacco, cocaine, heroin and others.

According to Prof Obot, the problems associated with psychoactive substances (alcohol and other drugs) are many and have been known for a long time, saying that as far back as 1844, the Emir of Nupe, seeking protection for his people against imported rum that was consumed then, said it had “ruined my people” and “has made them become mad”.

Prof Obot said the use of psychoactive substances brings great risks to both the user and the people around him. Analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that in 2004, there were 271,190 alcoholic- attributable net deaths, or 2.3 per cent of all deaths. In the same year, alcohol also accounted for 7,787,426 alcoholic-attributable disability adjusted life years.

On the correlation between alcohol consumption and infectious diseases, the Professor of Psychology said in 2007, an estimated 9.3 million new tuberculosis cases were recorded worldwide. “While most of the cases were in Asia, Africa accounted for 79 per cent of cases reported among HIV infected persons with Sub-Saharan Africa remaining the most affected region as far back as 2008.”

The illicit drugs abused in Nigeria are cocaine, heroin and they are always injected. Studies have shown that smoking cannabis at a young age may have effects on the brain and behaviour and the abuser will in turn be deleterious to normal cognitive and emotional development.

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