‘14% of Nigerians abuse drugs’

A Behaviour Physician and Addiction Psychiatrist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr Jumoke Koyejo, has said that 14 per cent of Nigerians between  the ages of 15  and 64 are involved in the  abuse of drugs, adding that it is more prevalent among the youths.

Koyejo was the guest speaker at the 2019 Fountain of Hope International (FOTHI) annual lecture, tagged: ‘Discouraging Substance Use among the Youth through Education, Information and Interaction,” in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The medical expert urged parents, community leaders, traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders to help in changing the environment for better so that the youths could leave a meaningful life.

Koyejo urged government at all levels to formulate viable policies to guide the use of substance as well as discourage bad cultural practices.

While calling for the regulation of manufacturing organiations, she said that there is  the need to regulate content, availability, accessibility and affordability of the hard drugs in the country.

She called for value orientation, sensitisation and enlightenment by all relevant stakeholders so that people will know the negative implications of illegal use of substances.

Earlier, she had identified ignorance, modelling, curiosity, peer group influence, challenges of life as well as need to feel good and function properly as some of the reasons people engage in the consumption of substances.

The medical expert  said that irrational behaviour, truancy, increase in theft of valuables, sudden neglect of personal hygiene as well as increase in stealing of cash are some of the major reasons for substance use among people.

According to her, there are known and unknown complications of  the use of hard drugs seen on daily basis in Nigeria.

She added that some of these substances work primarily on the brain and damage it.