Drug abuse is defined by Medical Dictionary as habitual use of drugs not needed for therapeutic purposes, solely to affect, alter one’s mood, or state of consciousness, or to affect a body function unnecessarily (as in laxative abuse).
According to UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 94.2 per cent of drug abuse victims in Nigeria are males, while 5.8 per cent of them are females, and the age of first use is 10 – 29 years. Some commonly abused substances in Nigeria are: alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, phencyclidine, codeine, etc. Some people go to the extent of inhaling gas that comes out of pit latrine and sniff evostik gum, wood finish, etc.
WHY PEOPLE GET HOOKED TO DRUGS
Many factors could be attributed to why people get hooked to drugs but peer pressure, curiosity, low self-esteem, lack of parental care, desire to lose weight, depression, boredom, etc. have been identified as major causes.
CONSEQUENCES OF DRUG ABUSE
A recent documentary produced by the BBC on the abuse of codeine in Nigeria titled, “Sweet, Sweet Codeine” revealed the devastating impact this menace is having on our society. The documentary showed young people in fetters in a rehab centre, struggling to regain their sanity. Their dreams of greatness were on the verge of being ruined. Mental disorder, dropping out from school, cultism, social violence, internet fraud, gang formation, disruption of normal academic activities, armed robbery, etc., are common hallmarks of the consequences of drug addiction. It does not only have an adverse effect on the abuser, it poses a great threat to the social, health, and economic fabrics of the families, society and the entire nation.
DARE TO STANDOUT
As a youth, you must awake to the fact that your future is at stake. You must do everything within your power to arrest the menace, otherwise, your future and that of the country would be in grave danger.
TAKE A STAND
The first thing you must do as a youth is to take your stand against any vice, especially drug abuse. You must ensure that no man despise your youth; according to the message of Paul to Timothy, “Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith and purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, CEV). You must dare to standout even in the face of serious pressure from your peers.
BE HEALTH CONSCIOUS
It is also important that you are always mindful that your body is the temple of God, and so abstain from anything that may be injurious to it. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 that you are God’s temple and his Spirit lives in you, that you are God’s holy temple, and God will destroy anyone who destroys his temple.
ASSOCIATE WITH THE RIGHT PERSONS
One way of preventing drug addiction is being mindful of the company you keep. You must do everything to avoid people who could negatively influence you. You must shun like a plague, anyone who does not add positive values to you. The Scriptures warn that bad friends destroy. (1 Corinthians 15:33, CEV)
TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT
Influence your friends positively by sharing this write up with them.
THE GOD FACTOR
The Bible says we should let the Lord lead us and trust him to help us. (Psalm 37:5). The God factor in your life cannot be overemphasized. It is important to keep yourself positively occupied. Have time to study the Bible and commit your ways unto the Lord and trust him to help you to shun drug abuse and other vices.
DARE TO STAND AND STAND OUT!