Nigerian parents have been speaking on the worrisome increase in drug abuse among the Youth. This is coming against the backdrop of the arrest of a final year student of the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State over drug trafficking by Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA).
The final year student, Mario Okiwelu of the Fine Arts and Design department , University of Port Harcourt was arrested for importing from the US, five variants of liquid cannabis weighing 49.6grams. He was arrested through controlled delivery along with his accomplice, Precious Awuse on Monday 27th Sept, 2021 around NIPOST area, Port Harcourt, Rivers State .
Similarly, narcotic officers attached to some courier firms in Lagos have seized different sizes of illicit drugs including 40grams of cocaine concealed in a University of Uyo degree certificate, going to Australia; 280 grams of cannabis hidden in body cream bottles going to Cyprus; 400grams of tramadol tucked in plastic bottles heading to Australia and 1kg of Methamphetamine concealed in auto parts with Hong Kong as destination .
Meanwhile, a cross-section of parents who spoke with Action Now Against Drug Abuse nailed negligence in parental role, frustration and wrong value system as the major factors driving the youth to the negative option of drug abuse as a means of getting over the tension in the country. The parents explained that because of the economic hardship a greater number of parents and guardians spend less time monitoring their children and homes in pursuit of careers and money to meet up with the demands of high cost of living.
To get out of the woods, the parents called for more concerted efforts in the up bringing of children, close monitoring, know the friends of your children, and separate them from bad friends.
It might interest you to know that 40 per cent of Nigerian youth between 18 and 35 years are deeply involved in drug abuse according to NDLEA records. Statistics from the Office of the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) also present a grim picture of Nigeria’s drug abuse problem. For instance, drug abuse prevalence is approximately 15 per cent among Nigerians between 15 and 64 years of age, this is three times the global drug prevalence of 5.5 per cent.
The prevalence of drug abuse among the youth and the negative impact on their health, as 1 in 5 who had used drug in the past year is suffering from drug disorder, calls for all hands to urgently be on deck to curtail the sad phenomenon.