Drug Abuse At Nigerian Port Environs
“Drugs are the enemies of ambition and hope, and when we fight against drugs we are fighting for the future.” – Bob Riley
The prevalence of drug abuse and trafficking is one of the most dangerous activities in the world today. The use is on the rise and has far-reaching consequence like crime, addiction, social vices, corruption, and terrorism.
The menace isn’t limited by geography, gender, social status or age as it cuts across all classes. By observation, illicit drugs are still widely sold and consumed by a large number of youths, artisans, students, young truck drivers, motorcycle (okada) riders, security agents, civil servants around Lagos port environs.
Reports have it that many of these drugs are sold on the ports access roads, in kiosks and nearby environs almost as much as in the average Lagos streets, at night clubs, stores, parties to mention a few.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), announced recently that in less than three months in office, the agency has been able to seize drugs and cash worth over N75billion across the country, with the arrest of 2,175 drug traffickers and the seizure of 2,050,766.33 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs as well as the filing of about 2,000 drug cases in court with 329 convictions and 1,549 pending cases in court.
One would have imagine what would be the consequence if these illicit drugs were to have circulate the Nigerian market with her population of over 200million.
No doubt that Illicit drugs are worth multi-billion dollars and because of how lucrative it is, traffickers make use of every possible means of transport including airplanes, ships, animals, food items, clothes, cars, human beings (mules) etc, to move these dangerous substances around the world.
With the aid of technology, the production of these drugs have also increased making it readily affordable and in high demand globally.
Users or abusers of drugs engage in it for momentary relaxation and euphoric effects; but beyond the ecstasy, the consequences are deep on both the individuals and the future of the nation.
Medical problems like mental disorder, schizophrenia, liver cirrhosis, lethargy, irritability, cardio-vascular disorders, among others have been established as consequences on individuals who abuse drugs. The social consequences include; school dropouts, lawlessness, loss of productivity, cultural disorientation, rape, accidents, assassinations, cultism, violence, armed robbery, among others.
It is clear that despite the ban on illicit drugs, the abuse and trafficking are still on the rise. It is pertinent for the government to begin nation wide sensitization and campaign against drug trafficking and use of illicit drugs to curb this menace. Also, there should be establishment of counselling, rehabilitation and treatment centres across the nation for those who are already into it.