The truth we love to hate about drugs, by Zaharaddeen Gimba

According to the NDLEA, about 40 percent of Nigerian youths between 18 and 35 years are deeply involved in the abuse of drugs. Isn’t that appalling? The remaining 60 percent can be anything from common thieves to online scammers and so on. What future does this country have? The so-called leaders of tomorrow are having a hard time realizing their potential, due to drugs and other societal issues like poverty, unemployment, ASUU strike etc.
Hard drugs are being sold in every market across the country, the responsible agencies aren’t doing enough, in fact, they are equally responsible for the influx of drugs into the society, when was the last time NDLEA boldly claimed drug seizure and transparently destroy it? That is because they redistribute it to their own dealers. I’m sure not all NDLEA personnel can pass a drug test. Where do we go for help when a police DCP is in jail for a drug-related crime? Who can we trust? The cocaine and tramadol pushers? The future of our youths is in absolute shambles.
Unless you’re from an affluent family that can afford private universities or schooling abroad there is a chance you will experiment with drugs to ease the pain caused by the ceaseless and meaningless strike to the detriment of your future and most importantly, your mental and physical health. All because the government and ASUU refuse to compromise and allow you to go back to school. I’m not saying the strike is a major contributing factor. It’s only another reason among a million this country keeps providing for drugs to be abused by our youth.
Those that are lucky to graduate are still wandering aimlessly, trying to get a job. An idle brain is a devil’s workshop, another factor that will contribute to drug abuse and criminal activities. I’m sure some of the major players in drug pushing are graduates that couldn’t secure a job to cater for their needs.
Therefore, job creation can reduce the number of frustrated youths that hide under the pretext of joblessness and poverty to join the already brimful drug world.
The bitter truth is insecurity in Nigeria will not end anytime soon as long as the hard drug influx remains unchecked. Not all drug addicts are criminals, but all criminals are drug addicts. How can someone that’s not on drugs go on a killing spree like its hunting season? Before these drugs were endemic, the Fulanis weren’t so cruel. What only mattered to them was their cattle. Now they get high and kidnap the innocents and kill them for fun, citing marginalization and injustice as justification for their atrocities.
The notorious bandit Bello Turji is clearly a drug addict, drugs expert can attest to that, just by watching his interviews. Hard drugs were found in most of Boko Haram’s dislodged camps, the late Shekau’s antics were characteristics of a drug addict. Not to mention the unknown gunmen we have learned to fear, must be under the influence of drugs; killing a pregnant woman and her children that’s beyond the cruelty of a drug-free man. Only drug-free would end the unspeakable atrocities they are committing in their region with impunity.
If the government is serious about ending insecurity in this country, then deal with drug abuse once and for all by punishing the pushers and sending any abusers caught to rehab, not prison. The parents are also at fault, your child is always your child whether drug-free or otherwise, do not curse them or stigmatize them, there may be a reason they are indulging in drugs, treat them gently perhaps they may tell you why they resorted to hard drugs.
It may be undiagnosed depression or lack of attention. Something your child would rather tell you, will tell their peers since you won’t listen to them, and if the peer(s) is into any kind of vices (cultism, drugs terrorism) they will introduce them to it, and then you will start cursing them, telling them to get out of your house not to ruin their younger ones – when you ruined them by the lack attention you showed them. Parents that are affected directly or indirectly by this drug epidemic should treat the case with caution, do not expel them from their house or they will turn to crime, cultism or prostitution as a means of livelihood, thus the number of the security threat will soar up. If you forget, People will never forget who their parents are

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