Sunday, July 3, 2022

Drug Abuse: Who Should Be Blamed, Parents, Government, Or Celebrities

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Recently, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative to rally Nigerians to actively partake in the war against drug abuse, which it said was taking a frightening dimension in the country, and which experts have, at various fora, also warned had risen to emergency levels.

The abuse of illicit drugs among youths in the country, in particular, has been identified to have diverse and devastating effects on society. Aside from reports of chronic health conditions of abusers, experts have also established a nexus between the menace and rising incidences of violent crimes.
READ ALSO: NDLEA Traces N4.2bn To Abba Kyari’s Accounts…And His Co-Accused

Chairman, NDLEA, Brig.Gen Buba Marwa (Rtd) while reeling out some statistics said Nigeria was not only the highest user of cannabis worldwide but stated that revelations from kidnapped victims had corroborated the facts that illicit substances were enablers of insecurity currently plaguing the country. He noted, “it is not difficult to conclude that drugs have been catalysts of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and various violent conflicts currently troubling the country.

But the questions portends very much on my mind would be, who is to be blamed for the drug abuse menace plaguing the country, the government, parents, or the celebrity reckless show of it on TV, the music videos or on social media;

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  1. Family And Parents:
    According to drug abuse/public health experts, there is this strong belief that family being the smallest unit of and the most nuclear and immediate contact point for children to learn their first steps in life so for that reason they carry the first torch of responsibility to blame for the drug abuse menace. Parents need to do a lot more and better to raise their kids right and monitor what type of activities they get interested in partaking in. Not saying they should try to control their every step and life decision but rather give well-informed guidance.
    READ ALSO: NDLEA Arrests The G.O Of Living Hope Church For Drug Peddling
    “To be a good parent, first you must know the word of God, then you have to look beyond how you were raised by your own parents as times have changed. Pay attention to your children and allow them to make their own career choices without necessarily imposing your choice on them to avoid rebellious behaviour which eventually springs up a menace.” According to  Keji Hamilton, the founder of the Global Centre for Drug Eradication in Nigeria
  2. Government And SocietyDrug Abuse
    The government and the society at large should also be held responsible to provide a safe for children to grow in and protect them from early exposure to drugs. Children and Youths are the ultimate learners and receptors of information, so there is the need to censor and guide what they are exposed to be it through the TV or what type of shows are put on TV and more.
    The government also has the responsibility to always be on the attack against drug barons and traffickers, constantly choking them of life while providing more viable opportunities and opportunities for young people to expend their young energy and youth exuberance. Also censorship of the use of drugs for fanfare by a certain type of individual. What you see constantly gradually starts forming part of your consciousness of acceptance of certain behaviours.
    READ ALSO: Drug Abuse Will Create A “Generation Of Lunatics”
  3. Celebrities/Influencers Fanfare:
    The new NDLEA boss, Brig.Gen Buba Marwa once said that the nematic use of drugs to the point of abuse is sometimes learnt by the youth by watching celebrities and their impunatic use of drugs in their space, “they are not only addicted to conventional substances such as cannabis and prescription opioids, such as tramadol and codeine, they also experimented with dangerous mixtures leading to novel psychotropic substances such as “monkey tail” and “skoochies”. In the context of that warped reality, they also normalised the smoking of cannabis as we have seen in some popular music videos and on social media,” Marwa said.Celebrities also have a responsibility to do better, as some of the lifestyles and choices are now seen as new ways to live and relate in public.

    According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2021, globally, around 275 million people are said to have used drugs in the last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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