Why Nigeria needs to stop drug abuse
The use of drugs and other psychoactive substances by young people in Nigeria has increased recently. More concerning is the fact that female substance usage is increasing geometrically. About three million bottles of codeine are drunk every day in Nigeria, according to a documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s The Cable newspaper.
Of this number, more than half is consumed in the two cities of Kano and Jigawa alone, largely by women. This comes on top of the pervasive usage of narcotics like tramadol, cannabis, and other psychoactive substances, which have terrible effects on Nigerians’ health, social, economic, and secure lives.
According to today’s newspaper, 40% of Nigerian adolescents abuse drugs and alcohol. To support the aforementioned finding, NOI Polls Limited results show that nearly 9 in 10 Nigerians (90 percent) think teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 account for the majority of drug and substance abusers.
Furthermore, findings indicate that marijuana, codeine, and alcohol are the most misused substances in Nigeria. The outcome revealed that poverty and unemployment are the main factors contributing to the surge in drug and substance misuse.
Tramadol and codeine are by far the two medicines that young people in Nigeria abuse and misuse the most. A synthetic opioid analgesic called tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It has no harmful effects on the respiratory system when taken as directed, but an overdose can result in arrhythmias, cramping, coma, and eventually death. On the other hand, codeine is frequently prescribed as a painkiller since, in comparison to many other opioid medicines, it is comparatively mild. However, it is risky and can easily result in addiction.
Codeine usage for a long period of time and on a regular basis can cause fatal health issues as well as maladaptive behaviors. Drug use has a negative impact on both individuals and society as a whole. There are many negative impacts on the society that can be attributed to drug addiction and substance misuse. Numerous studies have revealed a strong link between substance addiction and the rise in crime and violence in the nation.
Numerous abusers, particularly children and young people, have been found to participate in armed robberies and risky antics. Due to the sharing of needles when administering drugs, substance addiction has also been somewhat connected to early school dropouts and a number of HIV/AIDS cases.
Importance of drug laws in Nigeria
- The Nigerian drug laws is important in order to coordinate all agencies related to the use and abuse of drugs.
- It is important for the proper application and implementation of drug legislation statutes’ provisions.
- Drug laws support the adoption of actions to locate, track, freeze, seize, or confiscate proceeds from drug-related offenses or property with a value equal to those proceeds.
- In order to lessen human suffering and remove financial incentives for illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
- Drug laws assist in the adoption of measures to eradicate illicit narcotic plant cultivation and to eliminate illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
- Drug laws aid in the implementation of measures that may call for establishing specific arrangements with transport owners in order to prevent the use of common transportation methods for the unlawful trade in narcotic drugs.
- Drug laws help in the adoption of policies that involve integrated repressive and preventive actions implementation and upkeep of investigative and management approaches.
- Drug laws help in putting steps in place to make eradication operations more effective.
- The promotion of quick scientific and technical information sharing and the conduct of research aimed at ending the use of illegal drugs and psychoactive substances is encouraged by drug laws.
- It helps in taking action to destroy or otherwise dispose of the narcotics that have been seized, confiscated, or forfeited as soon as possible.
- Drug laws help in facilitating or encouraging the availability or presence of people, particularly those who are in detention but have agreed to cooperate with inquiries into or take part in legal procedures involving drugs of abuse and psychoactive substances.
- It helps to improve the ability of the police to stop the illegal trade in narcotics and other psychoactive substances.
- Establishing, maintaining, and protecting communication in order to facilitate the rapid transmission of information about offices and to improve global cooperation in the suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances by road, sea, and air.
- Drug laws in Nigeria help in bolstering and completing the measures outlined in the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and its Serious Consequences.
- Drug laws in Nigeria help in putting measures in place that could guarantee the eradication and prevention of the underlying causes of the issues posed by narcotics and psychoactive substances.
- Strengthening and improving efficient legal tools for international cooperation in criminal issues in order to combat global narcotics and psychoactive substance trafficking.
- The Nigerian drug laws help with collaborating with governmental organizations both inside and outside of Nigeria to carry out tasks that are entirely or partially equivalent to those of the Agency regarding, among other things.
- Regardless of any laws to the contrary, take charge of, supervise, control, and coordinate all the duties, tasks, and activities related to the seizure, investigation, and prosecution of all offenses connected to or relating to the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
- Enhancing cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office, the police, immigration agencies, welfare officials, health officials, and other law enforcement organizations in the fight against illegal drug and psychoactive substance trafficking.
- Production restrictions, such as eradication and aggressive action against producers and manufacturers.
- The Nigerian drug laws make provisions for stopping the smuggling of drugs.
- Investigation and detention of those believed to be involved in high-level trafficking
- The Nigerian drug law makes provision for arresting and punishing those responsible for retail drug markets
- Arrest and punishment of those accused of using or possessing banned substances.
Adverse consequences of drug abuse
Chemicals that have an impact on the body and brain are drugs. Drugs can have a variety of impacts. Long-lasting and permanent health problems are among some of a drug’s side effects. Even after the person has stopped using the drug, they may still go on.
The three main methods of drug consumption are injection, inhalation, and ingestion. How medicine is administered can affect how it behaves in the body. For instance, although ingesting a medicine has a delayed effect, injecting it directly into the bloodstream provides an immediate effect.
However, the brain is impacted by all the medicines that are overused. They cause the brain to experience a “high” by flooding it with a lot of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control our emotions, motivation, and pleasure experiences. Drug usage can eventually alter how the brain functions and affect a person’s capacity for decision-making, resulting in strong cravings and compulsive drug use. This conduct has the potential to develop into a drug addiction over time.
Over the past forty years, Nigerians have become increasingly involved in the production, distribution, use, and misuse of illegal narcotics. This prompted successive Nigerian governments to pass drug control laws. The manufacturing, trafficking, and abuse of harmful drugs and substances have not been reduced as a result of drug control laws and policies.
Here are some ideas for improved drug laws:
- Drug law enforcement tactics should be reevaluated and refocused, shifting away from a sole emphasis on narcotics seizures and user arrests toward cooperating with pertinent agencies to lessen health and social effects.
- It is necessary to embrace a new set of strategic goals and success metrics for law enforcement.
- Resources must be focused on the most dangerous components of organized crime rather than on the seizures or arrests of low-level traffickers in order for actions against these groups to be effective.
- Strategies for enforcing the law against retail markets must be based on accurate assessments of the local market dynamics and aim to shape these markets to reduce any harm that may result.
- It is necessary to adopt policies and initiatives that reduce the likelihood that young people will interact with the black market for illicit drugs. This can be accomplished if local drug markets are targeted by enforcement measures in a way that makes it harder for young people to access the market.
- There is a need for procedures that are cost-effective and based on evidence to refer drug offenders to the proper services, such as community-based drug addiction treatment services. Law enforcement organizations are able to detect and direct drug addicts to these facilities.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.