The Global Society for Anti-Corruption, GSAC, on Wednesday said that about seven million Nigerian youths suffer from illicit drug-related disorder.
The President of the group, Mr. Frank Ezeona, disclosed this at a press briefing to mark the International World Drug Day in Enugu, titled: “Drugs, I Am Not Giving You My Life.”
Ezeona said, “People suffering from drug and alcohol addiction have a higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic violence incidents. From all indications, our society today shows that 70 per cent of our youths are victims of drug abuse due to one reason or another which also leads them to commit offences like rape, kidnapping, robbery and cybercrimes leading to jail term.”
The GSAC boss condemned drug abuse which he said has contributed to many deaths and crimes in the society and urged the youths as well as adults to avoid it.
“You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s prescription. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality. But usually, you’re able to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.
“Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behaviour. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.
“Drug addiction isn’t about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances,” he said, noting that, “At first, you may choose to take a drug because you like the way it makes you feel. You may think you can control how much and how often you use it. But over time, drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose self-control and can lead you to damaging behaviours.”
He added, “All misused drugs affect the brain. They cause large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our emotions, motivation and feelings of pleasure, to flood the brain and produce a ‘high’.