Published On: Mon, Feb 19th, 2018

Drug abuse is on increase among youths

 Frustrated and humbled by increasing difficult economic conditions, pervasive social anomie, breakdown of age-old value system and discipline, most youths now find solace in drug abuse, writes Adebayo Obajemu

 Fadairo [not real name] is 24, at that age, his physical appearance is that of a man in his thirties, slurred and incoherent speech, hanging jaw, emaciated body and deep socket. He says he is a lover of “African Cocktail”. His colleagues at the bus stop where he hangs out as small time crook and conductor convinced him that cigarette smoking can kill, so they introduce him to a more ‘harmless’ drug, which is codeine mixed with Fanta. He says, he has regained his manliness, but Dr. Samson Akinpelu says characters like Fadairo, if not checked will soon die before their time.

But that is another world far removed from the ‘’high society’’ of Ahmed [not real name], a civil servant in one of the ministries in Lagos. At 40, he has no time for small stuff, so he says, referring to codeine mixed with Fanta, he goes for the real thing – cocaine. He prefers cocaine to a blend cough syrup and soda. He even peddles the drug secretly to other addicts. But whenever, he runs out of stock, he goes for Coca cola mixed with codeine.

Little surprise that he has started to exhibit signs such as slurred and incoherent speech, unhealthy appearance, blood-shot eyes, dilated pupils and indifference to hygiene and grooming among other signs that betray his addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse United states of America (NIDA) explains that “the excessive use of drugs can alter important brain areas that are necessary for life-sustaining functions and can drive the compulsive drug abuse that marks addiction’’

Ahmed’s wife, Fatimah had deserted him three years ago, when against all pleas and entreaties from her to be responsible and serious with his life, he refused to mend his way.

‘’She used to advise me to change, but I could not, if I did I would fall sick. The thing I regret was that I could not take care of her because my salary goes into servicing my addiction’’, he told this newspaper.  According to Dr. Olufemi Omoyele, a consultant, ‘’when an addict is hooked, it will require adequate therapy and counseling to let go off the habit.’’

Studies have shown that use of prescription drugs is a serious problem with teenagers and young adults. According to a National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) study, a teenage is more likely to have abused a prescription drug more than an illegal street drug.

Drugs commonly abused
Medically, Codeine is a drug normally used in the management of pain and diarrhea; published reports show that it is widely abused because of its potential to produce euphoria (high mood) when consumed in excess. Hence, codeine abusers consume large quantities of cough syrup containing codeine, which leads to adverse effects like dependence, tolerance, sedation and euphoria. Other adverse effects may include constipation, dizziness, vomiting, headaches and dry mouth, the reports say.

Other pain relievers, which are also sometimes abused, include morphine, pentazocine (for twin), tramadol and pethidine. NDLEA listed drugs commonly abused in Nigeria such as marijuana, depressants, dissociative anesthetics, hallucinogens and stimulants.

This includes paracetamol, a household name that comes in different popular brand names such as Panadol, Boska and M&B. Due to its analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties, paracetamol are widely used – and frequently abused – for the treatment of fever and ache. Although relatively safe, especially when compared with other painkillers, if consumed in excess, it brings adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and rashes. Therefore, patients are usually advised to consult the doctor if symptoms persist.

Another commonly abused drug is Aspirin. Aspirin belongs to the group of drugs called Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are often used in the treatment of migraine, menstrual pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other causes of pain. The brands include Alabukun and Phensic and others. The most common adverse effect of aspirin is peptic ulcer.

Antibiotics such as tetracycline, Flagyl and Cyprotap are equally widespread abuse in Nigeria. Taken in excess, it could cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness and rashes among others. Flagyl in particular has been linked with adverse effects like loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, seizures, tremors and slurred speech.

Sedatives/Hypnotics refer to drugs commonly used in the treatment of sleep and anxiety disorders. Some of the common examples are Valium, Lexotan etcetera. A prolonged use of these medications could cause respiratory depression, confusion, tolerance, dependence, visual disturbances, reduced libido (sexual drive) and headache. Interestingly, most Nigerian youths seem unaware of the danger of abusing drug.

According to pharmacist Adeyemi Kolapo, most of these drugs are purchased through people not licensed to sell. ‘’ You know money is the factor, most of these abused drugs are purchased through underground channels, that is the challenge.’’

Dr. Samson Akinpelu , an alternative medicine expert says drug abuse is’’  a substance use disorder characterized by the use of a mood or behavior-altering substance in a maladaptive pattern resulting in significant impairment or distress, such as failure to fulfill social or occupational obligations or recurrent use in situations in which it is physically dangerous to do so or which end in legal problems, but without fulfilling the criteria for substance dependence.

Specific disorders are named for their etiology, such as alcohol abuse and anabolic steroid abuse. DSM-IV includes specific abuse disorders for alcohol, amphetamines or

similar substances, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, PCP or similar substances, and sedatives, hypnotic oranxiolytics.

 

Danger of abusing drugs
A study that examined the perception of drug abuse amongst Nigerian undergraduates living off-campus shows that most students have limited knowledge of abusing drugs, except for the use of marijuana. Meanwhile, a consultant psychiatrist of the Department of Psychiatry Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi Araba Lagos, Dr Campbell Elizabeth Adebola, said all drugs do damage to the body, including codeine, alcohol and tramadol if they are abused.

“I have treated patients who have abused Tramadol, a pain killer of high dose of 250mg.” The doctor wonders where drug abusers get this high dose of drugs from when only hospitals are allowed to give them to patients.

© 2018, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Why NNPC adopted contractors funding contract

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained why it has resorted to contractor-financing of its pipeline and other facilities development in recent times in the Industry. Delivering the Keynote speech at the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2018) Tuesday in Abuja, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that […]

  • Justice Kafarati explains why AMCON failed to recover N5.4trn debt

    The Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Abuja Division, Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu Kafarati, has said there is a need for judges in Nigeria to support the recovery efforts of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) since the corporation was established as a central element of government’s response to financial crisis in the country.  Justice […]

  • Equity market extends positive sentiment by 0.18%  

    The Nigerian equity market had its second consecutive rally on Friday, gaining 0.18 per cent, buoyed by sustained buy pressure. Sustained positive trading pushed the All Share Index (ASI) up by 59.28 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.18 per cent, to close at 32,540.17 points. The market upturn was on the back of the […]

  •  Why Polaris Bank was set up to take over Skye Bank—NDIC

    FELIX OLOYEDE The need to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds propelled the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to establish Polaris Bank to succeed just defunct Skye Bank. NDIC disclosed said this today in a released signed by its Mohammed Ibrahim Head, Communications and Public Affairs, and he promised […]

  • My Mandate Is To Deliver The Ecobank Brand Promise As Platform Of Choice In Nigeria – Akinwuntan

    The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan has reaffirmed that his mandate in Nigeria is to grow the Ecobank brand by delivering it as a brand of choice. The bank Managing Director stated that Ecobank service will be available and within the reach of every Nigerian either in their homes or locality through any […]

  • Experts blame shareholders as CBN revokes Skye Bank’s license

    FELIX OLOYEDE The failure of Skye Bank shareholders to recapitalize the bank, which has been battling with acute liquidity challenges is responsible for the revocation of its operating license of Skye Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), experts have declared. Prof. Joseph Ajibola, former President, Chartered Institute of Banking of Nigeria (CIBN) opined […]

  • Bulls return to stock market, appreciates 0.33%

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The Nigerian equity market on Thursday trended upward, reversing the previous day’s negative sentiment. The bourse gained 0.33 per cent, propelled gains recorded in medium and large capitalized stocks with WAPCO setting the pace. The All Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 105.77 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.33 per cent to […]

  •  Elumelu Foundation to launch world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation has concluded all plans to launch the world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem –  TEFConnect. TEFConnect will officially be unveiled at this year’s TEF Forum, taking place on October 25, 2018, at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. Harnessing and building on the success of Africa’s […]

  • NNPC declares 46% trade surplus

    Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has stated on Thursday  that it had trade surplus of about 46 per cent in oil sales in the month of April, 2018. NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement noted that the trade surplus which amount to N17.16 billion was part of the highlight […]

  • 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend to hold in November

    Fashion enthusiasts all over the world will be treated to an unparalleled exposé of Africa’s finest in fashion at the 3rd edition of the GTBank Fashion Weekend, which is bid to hold between  November 10-11, 2018, The two-day event will bring together renowned fashion personalities from around the world and budding small businesses in the […]

  • NDIC hosts IADI Africa Regional Committee AGM

    The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) will host the next edition of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) Africa Regional Committee (ARC) Annual General Meeting and Technical Assistance Workshop. The event which has been scheduled to hold at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos from September, 25th – 27th 2018, would be focusing on Financial […]

  • Ambode 2019: The godfather’s revolt

    By OBINNA EZUGWU As uncertainty continues to hover around the second term bid of Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, following an alleged plot by the state’s political godfather, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to hand the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to the Managing Director of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, […]

  • FG to generate N6bn from concession of 20 Silos

    The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the Concessioning of 20 out of its 33 Silos to private sector operators at the cost of N6 billion. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Federal Executive […]

  • Insurance sector sell-off drags capital market down, loses 0.02%

    The Equity Market on Wednesday shed 0.02 per cent, reversing yesterday’s positive sentiment. The downturn was on the back of the massive sell-off in Insurance stocks among others, which dragged the All Share Index (ASI) down by 5.88 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.02%, closing at 32,375.12 points. The Market Capitalization also dipped by […]

  • Number of extremely poor continues to soar in Sub-Sahara Africa

    Although globally, extreme poverty has rapidly declined, the number of people living in extreme poverty is, however, on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, comprising more than half of the extreme poor in 2015, a new poverty estimates by the World Bank has shown. Forecasts also indicate that by 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor […]

  • MAN sets for 46th AGM as Jacobs bows out 

    The Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) has unveiled plans for its 46th Annual General Meeting and Manufacturers Annual lecture/Presidential Luncheon, which is scheduled for  September 26 and 27, 2018 in Lagos. The occasion will also see the outgoing President of MAN, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs end his 4-year tenure. The event will play host to […]