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The Impact of Drug Abuse in Nigeria Society

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By Samuel Abimbola

Easy access to harmful substances increases the risk of overdose nationwide.

Drug Abuse is a global health and social issue that presents unique challenges and issues that can vary depending on the location. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines drug or substance use disorder as a set of symptoms that occur as a result of continued drug use despite the negative consequences. The ongoing use of psychoactive substances among young people is a growing public concern worldwide, as it can lead to intentional or unintentional harm or injury.

However, it’s a Public Health issue that has far-reaching impacts on Nigeria’s individuals, families, and communities. The use and abuse of medicines have been on the rise in recent years, with a wide range of substances being abused, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription medications. Substance abusers are dying at a higher rate due to an increase in overdoses and drug-related incidents. People are more likely to overdose and die as a result of the easy access to harmful and potentially fatal chemicals caused by the absence of control and Regulation in the country’s drug sector.

Excess drugs have consequences for human mental and physical health.

Substance addiction has been linked to the emergence of Mental Health conditions such as psychosis, anxiety, and depression. This could seriously affect the person’s capacity to go about their everyday activities, which may result in problems like homelessness, unemployment, and broken relationships. Substance misuse and criminal activity, such as theft, violence, and drug trafficking, are frequently associated. As a result, people may become more solitary and separated from their loved ones and neighbours, which may raise the crime rate and undermine community unity.

Also, the healthcare system is severely impacted by the expenditures of treating substance-related health conditions, including overdoses and mental health disorders. The financial burden that substance-related criminality takes on the government also puts extra pressure on its resources through costs associated with criminal justice and law enforcement. Concerning the effects of substance usage on public health in the country, one of the most concerning elements is how it affects vulnerable groups, including women and youth. Adolescents are especially susceptible to the appeal of illicit substances because they might be seeking relief from the difficulties they encounter daily.

People utilise overdose as a means of dealing with life’s hardships.

Due to a lack of access to economic and educational possibilities, young people may be more susceptible to the risks associated with substance misuse, which can result in an unbreakable cycle of Poverty and addiction. Also, women are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of substance misuse. It negatively affects women’s health and well-being, and it also increases their vulnerability to other forms of abuse, such as sexual assault and Domestic Violence. As it requires a comprehensive approach to tackle the impact of substance misuse on public health.

It should address the underlying social and economic issues that lead to substance abuse as well as methods for preventing substance misuse and offering assistance and therapy to those who are addicted. The main goals of prevention initiatives should be to raise awareness among youth of the dangers of substance misuse and to encourage Medicine usage in moderation. It can be accomplished through media campaigns highlighting risks of medical misuse, community outreach programmes, and school-based activities.

Related Article: Military, NDLEA partner on drug abuse fight

Lastly, support networks and treatment are also critical for those who are addicted to it. This ought to involve having access to medical withdrawal programmes, therapy and counselling, and support groups that can assist people in kicking their addictions and leading to better lives. To address the negative effects of misuse on public health in Nigeria, it is also essential to address the underlying social and economic causes that lead to medicine usage. This might involve working to give young people better access to economic and educational possibilities, help people who are more susceptible, such as women, and strengthen the criminal justice and law enforcement system to tackle substance-related crimes and trafficking.


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