Sunday, October 21, 2018

Nigerian Youth And Drug Abuse - Today's Leader Forum

PRESENTER: Olanrewaju Femi Arowosegbe
DATE: 19/10/2018


It is a popularly held belief that the youths of any nation are the leaders of tomorrow. They are the vehicles through which positive changes can be realized. This is why many tend to invest on the future development of its youths.

The term ‘Youth’ varies in definition, form and approach. A youth as defined by the National Youth Policy is any individual who is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, between the ages of 18-35. This age group occupies the transition between childhood and adulthood exhibiting attributes of childhood dependence and independence of adulthood (Muraskin, 1999).

Furthermore, the hope and aspiration of any society lie on the calibre of youth in that society. However, Uthaymeen (2002) argued that if we take an examining look at the youth, in Nigeria, we will be able to conclude that youths generally are of categories; the upright youth, the corrupt youth and the confused youth.

Williams, (2016) maintained that, over 6 million bottles of codeine are sold on a daily basis in the NorthWest part of the country. National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) report of 2010 also shows that over 11% of people in the North-West zone use drugs. He also said due to the rise in drug addiction, young people make use of cough syrups to make themselves high.

Consequently drug addiction is a case peculiar with people between the ages of eighteen and twenty.


DRUG: A drug is, in the broadest sense of the term, is a chemical substance that has known biological effects on humans or other animals. In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being."

DRUG ABUSE: Drug abuse  (as preferred by the world health organization), is defined as “a state of psychic or physical dependence, or both on a drug, following administration of the drug on a periodic or continuous basis.” Also can be define as an illegal use of drugs

DRUG ADDICTION: This is a state of period or chronic intoxication produced by repeated consumption of a habit-forming drug, leading to development of a psychological and physiological dependency on the drug.

DRUG HABITUATION: This is a continues abuse of drugs or constant taking of a particular dosage of drug without developing physical dependency I.e the victim becomes upset and irritable without the drug.

DRUG RESISTANCE: Property of a disease-causing organism that allows it to withstand drug therapy. i.e the drug that does work for a person before is no more working form him or her.

Common Abused drugs.

  1. Alcohol. 2) Cocaine. 3) Sedative, hypnotic, or ant anxiety drugs. 4) marijuana. 5) Indian hemp. 6) prescription drugs etc.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse.

Cravenness: Here you see the person craving for a particular drug and becomes increasingly upset if deprive of it, and he/she use any means to get that drug.

Tolerance: the person here wont be satisfied again with starting dose, he or she will want to increase the dose progressively to produce the same effect at the beginning.

Suffering:  This is usually experience either by the drug Addict, or the Society he or she belongs or both. And so on.

Effect of Drugs Abuse

Medical effects: Drug abuse can lead to a variety of respiratory problems. Smoking cigarettes, for example, has been shown to cause bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Marijuana smoke may also cause respiratory problems. The use of some drugs may also cause breathing to slow, block air from entering the lungs or exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Physical effects: Injuries due to accidents (such as car accidents), physical disabilities and diseases, and the effects of possible overdoses are among the health-related consequences of teenage substance abuse. Disproportionate numbers of youth involved with alcohol and other drugs face an increased risk of death through suicide, homicide, accident, and illness (The Drug Abuse Warning Network DAWN 2011).

Mental effect: Mental health problems such as depression, developmental lags, apathy, withdrawal, and other psychosocial dysfunctions frequently are linked to substance abuse among adolescents. Substance-abusing youths are at higher risk than nonusers for mental health problems, including depression; conduct problems, personality disorders, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and suicide.

Academic effects: Declining grades, absenteeism from school and other activities, and increased potential for dropping out of school are problems associated with adolescent substance abuse.

Why do youths abuse Drugs?

  1. Experimental Curiosity
  2. Peer Group Influence
  3. Lack of parental supervision
  4. Personality Problems due to socio-Economic Conditions
  5. The Need for Energy to Work for Long Hours
  6. Availability of the Drugs
  7. Advertisement: Youth are sensitive to advertisement and copy quickly. The glamour in advertising alcohol and cigarette smoking make the youth want to be the way the advert depicts
  8. Social pathologies: Such as unemployment and parental deprivation.

Preventions and Control measures.

Most people do not understand the effects of drug abuse especially on the youths. It is very necessary that drug abuse should be prevented or controlled. Drug abuse is a growing problem and drug abuse prevention should also be a growing measure and stronger in order to over-power the cankerworm.

Family: The prevention of drug abuse should start first from the family.

Religious Commitment: Parents should be committed in their service to God. Parents should be devoted and dedicated religious people. They should lead their children to God and make sure that they are committed in the service of God.

Care and Supervising or Monitoring: Parents should care for their children, meet their physical needs etc and also supervise or monitor them very well.


Drug abuse is a disorder that is characterized by a self-destructive pattern of using a substance that leads to significant problems and distress. Looking at the information gathered from various literatures, one can observed that drug abuse is not caused by a single factor alone, as expressed by many writers. It is caused by the interplay of at least two or more factors.

Drug abuse has not only becomes a universal, social and psychological problem but also emerged that the pattern of drug abuse have almost completely changed sharp and have taken a dimensional model of behaviour sales and consumption (abuse) of drug like marijuana, vellum, vanillin syrup and tremolos are conducted openly in all the states, local governments villages inclusive especially during electioneering campaign, politicians used to buy drugs or given substantial amount to buy and consumed drugs by youths.

Furthermore, uncontrolled drugs abuse its effect are accompanied by violence, crime, misbehaviour and hence a threat to society at large. Drug abuse is injurious to health and as a result should not be seen among youth's.


  • Harper, Douglas. "drug". Online Etymology Dictionary. "Glossary of MHRA terms - P". MHRA. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  • Muraskin, O. A. (1999), Youth and Morals (Islamic Culture Development office, Tehran.)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (2015) The Science of Drug Abuse and Addition 39(3), 461-492.
  • Uthaymeen, M. S. (2002), Youth Problems, in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah: translated by Imam, A. R. A. International Islamic House (HPH).
  • World Health Organization (1973), Technical Report Series No516 on Youth and Drugs.


Nurse Olanrewaju Femi AROWOSEGBE, Registered By Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. Also A student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, State of Osun.

I am Obembe S. D (aka SirPhren). A RN, Blogger, Blog Designer and Blog Tutor. I own Assist Blogger. Connect with me to help you have your blog set up.