Visitor Guide
Substance misuse/addiction

We undertake this important project because the use and abuse of licit and illicit drugs has become a real social menace in West Africa, with children as young as 11years engaging in it.

Nigerian perspective:

Back in the 80s and 90s Nigeria used to be a transit point for drugs and there was an eminent stigmatization of drug use that prompted users to hide their drug dependent habits. The story changed over the years as Nigeria has gone from being a drug consuming nation to being a drug producing one; Nigeria has now assumed the position and destination for hard and illicit drugs. The society we live in seem to have cultivated the fact that drug use can be 'cool' and as such, drug users openly boast about their habits and skills in taking psychoactive substances.

Regionally, Kano has the country's highest drug abuse rate based on the number of seizures, arrests of addicts and convictions of arrested dealers, according to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). As part of efforts to address the drug situation, about 8,974 cartons of hard drugs comprising cocaine, Indian hemp, and other intoxicating substances seized by the police at various occasions across Kano State were destroyed just last month. One of the worst things about drugs is that they most commonly affect young people. The use and abuse of drugs by adolescents have become one of the most disturbing health related phenomena in Nigeria and other parts of the world. In a recent interview, the former Director General of NDLEA; Otunba Olarewaju Ipinmisho, said the upsurge in substance abuse in Kano and Kano States particularly, was frightening and if not quickly tackled, may get out of control. According to him, "If you take an estimate of 10 boys particularly in Kano, seven will be on drugs". He further implied that the government's labour is more than likely to be in vain if a vast number of youths are on drugs. Research on both in- and out-of-school adolescents in Nigeria reveal that majority of the Nigerian youths ignorantly depend on one form of drug or the other for their various daily activities such as social, educational, political, moral activities. Such drugs include tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, codeine, heroine, alcohol, rophynol, etc.

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