Today our society has been on rampage of drug abuse; youth of different age groups engage in drugs for one reason or the other. Our university students, college students, secondary school students, and even our graduates and married women are into drugs. When you find yourself among youth that are supposed to be discussing issues that are of national interest, the sad truth is that their minds are on drugs and self-destructive ideas that will lead to counterproductive behaviour. In addition, our students’ union representatives, who we practically look up to as our role models are drug addicts. The sad of the narration is, even our young girls are not left in this dangerous path. They do it at schools, and homes without the knowledge of their parents. The society have been eaten up by this monster we call illicit use of drugs. In our time, drug abuse is not only being practiced by abandon children or underprivileged, it spreads across all youth. Even though various nongovernmental and governmental organisations various campaigns, the problem is not going anywhere close to ending.
Why do most youth do drugs?
I have been struggling to find an answer to this question; most at times I engage people that do drugs and those that do not. Most people believe that depression leads to illicit use of drugs among our youth. However, this leads to another question we should all ask ourselves, why are we depressed? Or let me put it this way, why do most young boys or girls that start drugs started as a result of depression? In a quest to find an answer to this, I had the opportunity to speak to most of these youth that are drug addicts. At a point I was able to understand that negligence from the side of our parents contributed so much in promoting drug abuse. You will find out a young girl that lives with her parents spending a whole day without anybody checking on her even while she is at home. For most boys this is even worse because their rooms are even further away from the main house, and they have a freedom to do everything they do without any of the parents understanding a bit from what they do. Okay, now what about our students at various levels of education? Are they also victims of depression? What are their motives behind starting drugs? Some of these problems can be attributed to bad influence, poor parenting, listening to wrong songs, and seeing wrong movies.
In a nutshell, we have a society that pays less attention to children. Parents do have little or no time at all to sit down with their children and engage them in social discussions. Some parents however think engaging their children in social conversations can degrade their roles as elders in the family. Tell me, how would you understand if your child is into something dangerous if you do not have time to be with him/her? Religion has taught us how to train our children in a manner that can be welcomed by everyone. If you fail to train your children in the way that they will feel free to communicate their problems with you, believe me, they will go out and be influenced by bad friends. I remember a Hausa proverb; which says ' if you did not teach your child how to be good, society will definitely teaches him/her in a wrong way'. Better think twice!!!
What do we take from drug abuse?
A society whose youths are drug addicts is at a risk of being exposed to many dangers; also, a society where there is rampant abuse of drugs is at the risk of producing irresponsible leaders, and a probable high crime rate such as armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, etcetera; most of such steams from the addiction and the desperate need to get the money for drugs. Drugs can make us loose our senses thereby acting irrationally. We should try as much as we can to see that we change our perception on what we can achieve when we live a drug free life as youth of this great nation. We should not sell out our mental reasoning to drugs. Drugs cannot take us to where we want to be. We should try to understand our purpose as Nigerians not as destroyers of our nation. Our country needs us more than any other time. Moreover, the movies we see and the songs we listen to should not be a reflection of our lives. The lives we try to emulate from the so-called celebrities are not real. In addition, parents should try to create rapport with their children. The only way you can understand your child is by bringing them closer, constantly monitoring and questioning any change observed in their behaviour. Be that parent who can understand every change in your child before the society.
In conclusion, if we want to be great we should rise up and fight drug abuse among our peers. Various concern bodies should come up with new ways of carrying out campaigns against drug abuse. We should involve our youth in meaningful activities and ensure that they have meaningful contributions in the development of our societies at all levels. Understanding our problems alone cannot solve it entirely. We need to act accordingly. Together we can create a drug free society; you and I have a role to play.
Write-up dedicated to International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by United Nations