The incessant taking of illicit drugs among Nigerian youths has become alarming and worrisome in the last few years. The practice is rampantly spreading, especially among youths in schools and it is even worse among the unemployed.
To make matter worse, majority of ladies these days are also into drugs.
Hard drugs are capable of affecting the state of the body and mind by either depressing or stimulating the central nervous system or producing other biochemical harm to the users and by extension, the society at large.
What has been found out recently is shocking especially among young Nigerians! Anytime you see a plastic bottle full of any substance, it’s likely to be a mixture of various drugs. What they now do is to mix this particular (drug) substance with a soft drink. So that an average person won’t know that what they are drinking has been mixed with various drugs that could cause health challenges. This abuse of drugs among Nigerian youths is common not only in Lagos but also in other parts of the country. Anytime, you see a soft drink plastic bottle filled up with liquid, 80-90 percent of the contents have been mixed with various substances and this has become the vogue among youths to get high.
Over the past one year alone, nearly 15% of the adult population in Nigeria (about 14.3 million people) are reported to be using psychoactive drug substances—it’s a rate much higher than the 2016 global average of 5.6%.
The survey was led by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Center for Research and Information on Substance Abuse with technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and funding from the European Union.
It shows the highest level of drug abuse was recorded among people aged between 25 and 39, Cannabis too is the most widely abused drug. Sedatives, heroin, cocaine and the non-medical use of drug prescription were also noted. The survey excluded the use of tobacco and alcohol.
As Quartz Africa has previously reported, drug abuse habit in Nigeria has been rising among young people as they increasingly resort to potent mixtures of several drugs and they are at the high risk of fatal overdoses. For instance, “gutter water,” a widely consumed cocktail of drugs, is a mix of codeine, tramadol, Rohypnol, cannabis and water or juice. Some young adults are also turning to crude concoctions as alternative. They are involved in smoking lizard parts and dung as well as sniffing glue, petrol, sewage and urine.
City People’s findings also reveal that, apart from the above-mentioned drugs, there are other drugs which are popular among Nigerian youths. They include Refnol, Banku, Colorado and others. These illicit drugs have their side effects when taken wrongly, and they could cause major harm to the human body and vital organs.
The most worrisome aspect is that youths who are 10 years old and above are now involed in this drug abuse. Such young people are mostly found at beaches, under bridges, motor parks, viewing centres etc. They probably don’t know that these drugs could cause major health challenges. When City People spoke to one of them, during our findings, a 13 years old lad, he revealed that he learnt to take drug through his friends a few years back. He explained that he couldn’t continue his education because his parents couldn’t afford his school fees and he had a dream to becoming an influencer and be popular, but had to mingle with guys in the neighbourhood.
He also said some of the people he looked up to especially celebrities are taking the same drugs he takes and there’s no big deal.
This is just an example of a young boy of 13, who narrated what encouraged him into taking hard drugs, but not knowing that it has a side effect that could cause major health challenges in the nearest future.
Some of the drugs youths now take include Colorado: Colorado is one of the banned substances that drug addicts and unsuspecting new entrants experiment with in Lagos, which the United Nations 2018 drug use statistics says are dangerous to health.
Another drug commonly taken now by youths is Rohypnol. It’s an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine with general properties similar to those of Valium (diazepam). It is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia, as a pre-medication in surgical procedures and for inducing anesthesia.
Other drugs with their street names include: Date Rape Drug, Forget Me Drug, Roches, Roofies, and Ruffies. Others include Circles, Forget Pill, Forget-Me-Pill, La Rocha, Lunch Money, Mexican Valium, Mind Eraser, Pingus, R2, Reynolds, Rib, Roach, Roach 2, Roaches, Roachies, Roapies, Robutal, Rochas Dos, Rope, Rophies, Ropies, Roples, Row-Shay, Wolfies, Banku and a host of others.
Some of the hard drugs cause a major harm to liver, heart, intestines, joints and other parts of the body.