A PAPER PRESENTED BY BASHIR IBRAHIM, CN STATE COMMANDER, NDLEA, KATSINA STATE COMMAND
Occasion of town hall meeting organize by Salamah youth empowerment and enlightenment initiative.
Date; 29th January, 2022.
The prevalence of drug Abuse and Trafficking in Nigeria in recent time have been on the increase.
The abuse of conventional illicit drugs like Cannabis Sativa, Cocaine and Heroin has been taken over by non-conventional and psychotropic substances like ‘lacatomtom’, ‘monkey-tail’, magi glutamate in juice, solvent, Tramadol, Daizepame.t.c
AVAILABLE DATA SHOWS THAT;
⮚ Prevalence of drug use in Nigeria is 14.4% i.e 1 in 7 persons in Nigeria between the ages of 14-64 years are on psychoactive substance.
⮚ Katsina State drug prevalence rate of 12.0%
⮚ 1 in 5 suffer from drug use disorder
⮚ Most widely abuse drug in the state after cannabis sativa are Rohypnol, Tramadol and Cough syrup with Codeine, exol.
⮚ Cigarette, though a socially accepted substances, is widely abuse in the state.
⮚ Online sales of illicit drugs – Dark-net.
WHAT IS DRUG?
Any substances which when introduced into the living organism can alter the organism mood or behavior. Drug can be licit or illicit.
This refers to the use of drug that results in the physical, mental, emotional and social impairment of the user.
Commonly Abuse Drug and Substance in Nigeria;
The choice depends in the availability, finance & desired effect of the user – Alcohol, Tramadol, Cannabis sativa, Rohypnol, Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, D5. e.t.c
STAGES OF DRUG ABUSER
⮚ Occasional user
⮚ Regular user
⮚ Dependency stage – Addiction: A chronic brain diseases characterize by lapse and relapse that cannot be cured but treated.
WHY DO PEOPLE GO INTO DRUGS?
AAA – Availability, Accessibility, and Affordability.
⮚ Peer group influence
⮚ Desire to achieve success that is to enhance performance
⮚ Social/economic challenges – like loss of job, segregation etc
⮚ Availability of the drug/Environment
⮚ Advertisement / Ignorance
⮚ Emotional and psychological issues like stress, frustration, depression etc
⮚ Parental, older siblings or teachers, bad role model.
HOW DO WE KNOW DRUG USERS?
⮚ Possession of drugs or drug use paraphernalia
⮚ Odour of the drug – they try to cover up – using scents or sweets
⮚ Abrupt change in mood – becoming aggressive and hostile – no respect
⮚ Impaired relationship with families and friends – make new friends and hide them
⮚ Hostility or no interest in discussing drug matters
⮚ Loss of motivation or ambitions
⮚ Unhealthy appearance
⮚ Chronic lying, stealing
⮚ Sudden and continuous decline in work schedule or academic performance
Consequence of illicit drug or substance abuse can be classified into physical, psychological and social.
⮚ Physical – Health issues that affect vital organs, like brain, liver, heart and lungs. Others are nervous breakdown, damage to unborn babies and premature death etc
⮚ Psychological – These include sleeplessness, restlessness, depression, psychosis, hallucination, anxiety etc
⮚ Social – Challenges shows how drug user’s habit affect others and society at large – like loss of jobs, expulsion from school, deviant behavior, criminal activities, accidents, risky behaviors – i.e unprotected sex, sharing needles & strings.
• Consequences on the society and the economy:
Drug they say is the mother of all crimes. There are three (3) major links between drugs and crime:
i. Crime committed under the influence of drugs is a major challenge. Armed robbery, banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, rape, etc, are committed under the influence of drugs.
ii. Economic compulsive crime – this is where the drug users engage in crime to support their drug consumption and dependency.
iii. Systemic Crime – this is the violence that occurs as a result of dispute over drug “drug turf” or fighting among users and sellers due to bad deals.
Drug related crime is costly but varies from region to region. All the costs are burden placed on law Enforcement Agencies and the judiciary.
Drug traffickers corrupts officials at all level of Law enforcement and government in order to continue their criminal activities unimpeded. In a situation where drug baron sponsors candidates into elective positions, thereby controlling the decision of the government.
Drug traffickers try to legalize their ill gotten wealth from drug dealing, thereby altering the economic policy of the State.
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING
⮚ Sensitization / awareness program
⮚ Teaching of skills
⮚ Resistance skills
⮚ Coping skills
✔ Decision making skills
✔ Communication, refusal and assertive skills
✔ Be committed to school activities and obeys rules and regulations.
⮚ Encourage users to seek help or report sellers to appropriate authorities.
PARENTS / GUARDIAN ROLE
⮚ Family plays an essential role in prevention. Positive parental role models and stable, loving relationship in the home offer the first best hope for a drug free and fulfilling life.
⮚ Family remains the best source of prevention, early detection, recovery and treatment of substance abuse.
⮚ Grand rules in the house
⮚ Positive role model
⮚ Monitor children / wards
⮚ Regular advice / talks
⮚ Participate in community activities
⮚ Be your kids friends
⮚ Your kids telling you lies shows they lost confidence in you as parents
⮚ What about a perfect home – by entertain a perfect society.
⮚ It starts with acknowledging that substance abuse is widespread – from our poorest to our most affluent neighborhoods. Public denial only worsens it. Challenges with substance abuse and illicit trafficking are pervasive, costly and will have profound, economy, social and political consequences for years ahead.
⮚ Benefiting from criminals finance
⮚ Hence you have to shield him from arrest
⮚ Legitimate sources of wealth of member of the community
⮚ Information to the Law Enforcement Agency
⮚ Preaching – Against substance abuse and illicit trafficking. Not only in mosques or religious gathering but on electronic media etc
⮚ Mosques can offer individual and families struggling with substances abuse the abundant resources of professional and communal prayers.
⮚ Prayer – Although, not a moral issue, but a health issue, but prayer changes things.
CREATION OF PUBLIC AWARENESS
⮚ A substance abuse awareness effort should develop educational, informational, prevention and advocacy programs of service to the entire community. “Our Mosques can offer adult education program on regular basis to make this knowledge available to as many families as possible”. They can also help to form family group to share information and concern about substance abuse and to develop training resources for parental guidance in youth development.
⮚ Recreational Centre – setting up of these centres, also organizing sporting events among members / youth in the community.
Mosques and religiose house FACILITIES
⮚ These may be made available to self- help groups especially those in substance abuse.
⮚ Inculcating substance abuse curriculum into Islamic schools and religions educational program, where parents are involved, and in collaboration with other school and community educational offices. This effort should stress the importance of family and the dignity, self-esteem and responsibility of individual, positive school environment and classroom climate modules should be acquired by those involve in running of schools.
⮚ Religious leaders and school professionals should learn to recognized early signs of substance abuse. Knowledge of “Universal prevention course” model would be very useful.
⮚ Seminar / Advocacy – As we are doing now.
⮚ Islamic organizations could help substance dependency person in the process of recovery, including those who try to return to the community after treatment. They can provide supportive services to substance abuse person in recovery and their families. Help in seeking new jobs, skill acquisition etc.
⮚ Reward / Punishment – Encourage substance abuse person to come up to seek help, assist in rehabilitation, counseling and reintegration – reward may be in form of empowerment or employment.
⮚ Networking with NDLEA and other NGO’s working on substance abuse.
⮚ ISSUP professional on prevention and treatment.
⮚ In our society, collective effort should be harnessed, Islamic Organization may join effort with others and community leaders to sponsors program for prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and advocacy.
DRUG ABUSE POLICY
⮚ Prevention of drug free workplace
⮚ Outreach program to the poor and minority communities
⮚ Provision of care
⮚ Model employee programs that include counseling and treatment of substance abuse.
Substance dependency is a direct assault on the dignity of the human person, a destructive invasion of lives of individual users, their families and their communities.
Reducing the storm of substance abuse raging across our communities will take time and great effort. Everyone with the support of the government must contribute its own quota in addressing this menace.