by Ayo Dada
A 400 level optometry student of Abia State University Uturu jumped down from a 3 storey building and died on the spot on Saturday June 26, 2021 evening. Report has it that the deceased student took a hard drug known as Colorado and couldn’t “contain it”. His friends locked him inside the room and went in search of gari to help him regain consciousness. Unfortunately he went through the balcony, thinking that he was on the ground floor, fell down from a 3 storey building (favor lodge) and died instantly.
The rate of chemical abuse and substance dependence is becoming increasingly prevalent among the Nigerian In-School Youths of this generation. Recreational drug use is illegal in most countries, yet some of these drugs are easily accessible.
But why are they so much in demand?
For some, it’s the thrill, the rush while others aim at finding solace to escape a deeper emotional pain by numbing themselves with tranquilizers and narcotics, amongst others.
Here are some of the most commonly abused drugs by young adults in our tertiary institutions.
Also known by other street names as Mary Jane, kush, pot, Marijuana, Eja, blaze, ganja, etc.
The psychoactive component of Cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – is thought to have evolved as a botanical self-defense chemical, and is present in a subset of the hemp family of plants. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug and is probably the most easily accessible in the world.
As opposed to powder, crack is a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked. It offers a short but intense high to smokers. It comes in solid blocks or crystals varying in colour from yellow to pale rose or white. Crack is heated and smoked.
It is so named because it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated. Crack is riskier and more potent than regular powder cocaine.
Tramadol oral tablet is a prescription drug that is available as the brand-name drugs Ultram (immediate-release tablet) and Ultram ER (extended-release tablet). Tramadol extended-release oral capsule is available as the brand-name drug Conzip. Immediate-release drugs are released into the body right away. Extended-release drugs are released into the body slowly over time.
Tramadol is a controlled substance in some countries. This means it can only be used with a doctor’s close supervision. Tramadol is not a controlled prescribed drug in Nigeria. Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever used in treating mild to severe pain. It can stop or slow your breathing and can also cause seizures. Tramadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses.
5) ROHYPNOL (ROOFIES)
Rohypnol is 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. Rohypnol (Rophenol) is another commonly abused drug among Nigerian youths. Also known as ‘Ref, Roche, Roofies, Forget-me pill, Mexican Valium, R2, Roofinol, Rope, and Rope’ on the street, Rohypnol is popular with youths because of its fast action and the fact that the effect doesn’t wear off in time. It takes just within 15 to 20 minutes of administration and, depending on the amount ingested, may persist for more than 12 hours. Rohypnol is a date rape drug with criminally inclined young men often use, lacing the drinks of young, unsuspecting ladies with it in order to render them helpless as they helped themselves with their privates, it renders the victim unable to resist. Rohypnol is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium. Users either crush the pills and snort the powder; sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it; dissolve it in a drink or inject it.
Rohypnol shot to national prominence when it was discovered to be the substance with which the late Cynthia Osokogu was drugged before she was raped and murdered. Despite the deafening noise by government officials, including the health ministry and the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), about banning the drug and making it difficult for the drug to be purchased without a doctor’s prescription, the drug is still much accessible to Nigerian youths.
It is also worthy of mention that the use of aphrodisiacs or libido boosters, popularly called manpower on the streets or qurantanshi by people from the northern part of the country, or aleko in the South West is also prominent among the youths as well as sexually active men to boost their sexual performances. While the uneducated are mostly associated with local gin mixed with herbs for solutions such as Afa-too, sepe, paraga, opa eyin, etc, the educated ones and students are big on drinks like Alomo Bitters and the other ever-increasing list of bitters solutions. “Research conducted with producers of these local bottled herbal bitter reveals that there are no herbs in their products but chemicals. These chemicals are highly toxic to human system”. (Research source: the drug Salvation Foundation)
Local libido boosters such as paraga, shepe, ope eyin sell for as low as N50 per shot, while a bottle of Alomo Bitters sells for N250. Other bitters are available between N200 and N400.
Skunk or SK for short is what some people refer to as the elder brother of Indian hemp. This is because it is much stronger than hemp and is a bit more expensive though it is as easy to get because it is sold by the same peddlers. Skunk is a mixture of weed and some element of cocaine and dried leaves and is sold for N100 a pinch on the streets. SK is a drug for the strong, and more youths, including ladies, are happy to try it to prove their ‘ruggeness’ as it were.
EFFECTS OF DRUGS
- Abdominal or stomach fullness
- abnormal or decreased touch sensation
- blisters under the skin
- blood in the urine
- blood pressure increased
- blurred vision
- change in walking and balance
- chest pain or discomfort
- convulsions (seizures)
- darkened urine
- difficult urination
- dizziness or light-headedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
- fast heartbeat
- frequent urge to urinate
- gaseous abdominal or stomach pain
- irregular heartbeat
- loss of memory
- numbness and tingling of the face, fingers, or toes
- numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or feet
- pain in the arms, legs, or lower back, especially pain in the calves or heels upon exertion
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- pale bluish-coloured or cold hands or feet
- recurrent fever
- seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there
- severe cramping
- severe nausea
- severe redness, swelling, and itching of the skin
- trembling and shaking of the hands or feet
- trouble performing routine tasks
- weak or absent pulses in the legs
- yellow eyes or skin
Spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C through sharing needles, or having unprotected sex
- Drug possession/use
- Drug trafficking
- Prostitution and other sex crimes
- Terrorism (Political gangsters)
- Loss of productivity
- Loss of the labour force (youth)
REASONS GIVEN BY STUDENTS FOR USING DRUGS
- Emotional Pressure
- Environment influences
- For Boldness
- For Solace
- Media influence
- Peer Pressure
- Positive reinforcement
- Role Modelling
- Social celebration
- To avoid feeling bad
- To feel good
- To study
IN ADDITION TO THE REASONS GIVEN ABOVE ARE:
The high unemployment rate in the country that breeds hopelessness and idleness, absent parents trying to hustle to put food on the table, provide shelter for the home and school fees for the children, lack of electricity/power which force the youths out on to the streets, (the house is hot and dark in the evenings), Naija pop music (videos), peer pressures of wanting to be aristos & happening babes and big girls, yahoo and other internet fraud.
These issues are very serious, unfortunately, we do not have governments that are sensitive to the needs of the youths. We have great minds wasting away everyday when they lose their minds or die from drug overdose/accidents.
The federal government must create a task force to look into this issue as a matter of urgency, so as to reduce to the minimum the monster of drug abuse. I will suggest they:
Drug prevention in schools
Preventing drug use begins at school. After alcohol, cannabis has the most serious adverse effect on young people’s health and development. In schools:
- information officers provide information about drug use;
- social workers identify young people who are using drugs and provide rapid assistance.
Help is available for drug users who become addicted. This may take various forms:
- counselling and treatment at an institution;
- admission to an institution.
Treatment at an institution may include:
- help with kicking the habit;
- regulating consumption;
- preventing damage to health.
Inpatient treatment in an institution may include:
- crisis intervention;
- detoxification and physical treatment (in clinics);
- psychiatric care.
Parents should pay more attention to their children and look out for the side effects listed above in any of their suspected children. They need to pay more attention to the friends they hang around.
Please let us continue to teach our children to say no to #drugs#
IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOUR CHILD IS ACTING WEIRD AND MAY BE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOMETHING, THEY PROBABLY ARE!
MAY GOD HELP OUR PARENTS AND DELIVER OUR CHILDREN FOR ALL EVIL, AMEN
Please share, share, share, every parent, every home, every family need to read & keep this.
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