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Alarming Mental Challenges Among Youths

THE increasing mental challenges among Nigerian youths urgently call for attention and intervention from stakeholders in the country. The general consensus among the experts is that the increase is occasioned by youth’s indiscriminate abuse of drugs.

THIS assertion came to play recently in a research recently conducted by Dr.  Aliyu Abubakar of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria.

ABUBAKAR, in a paper titled Drug Abuse in Nigeria: Causes, Effects and Solutions,” pointed out that 85 per cent of mad people in Nigeria are youths within the age bracket of 18-38 years.

ABUBAKAR is not  only one who is worried,  Mrs Aisha Buhari, wife of president Buhari, lamented that Northern youths, including women, were wasting their lives with drug abuse.

A 2014 report by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) puts Kano ahead of the other 35 states and Abuja in terms of drug convictions. In its 2012 National Baseline Youth Survey report, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) surveyed 46,836 young people with criminal convictions.

THE survey revealed that among 32 different crimes committed, marijuana (Indian Hemp) smoking had the highest figure, representing 15.7% of the convictions. It also put Kano top of the country in terms of the number of drug abusers – 37% of the population.

THE  major cause of mental challenge in Nigeria has gone beyond drug-abuse, as  youths now inhale lizard faeces, Others inhale the scent from pit toilet, smoker-dried horse there and breathe in the mixture of lizard faeces and dye powder.

DRUG abuse disorder is a common problem affecting about 5 per cent of the world’s population.

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DRUG abuse among Nigerian youths is as old as human existence. it is caused by unmitigated peer influence, parental negligence and government’s inability to stem the tide for ages. Drugs are known to induce social vices, civil upheavals and other forms of criminalities.

IT is prevalent among culturally disoriented youths who engage in cultism, violence, arm-robbery, thuggery, rape, lawlessness and  murder.

THE time to put a stop to this menace, is now else the effects would be catastrophic and difficult to curtail if it eventually gets out of hand.

OUR position is that prevention of drug abuse starts from the family. A family, whether nuclear or extended, has a role to play in preventing drug abuse.

PARENTS should care for their children, meet their physical needs  and also supervise or monitor them very well.

PARENTS should not neglect regular family discussions.

WE also advise  government at all levels to introduce stiffer penalties against drug-dealers.

LASTLY, community members can advise parents where necessary, and also supply vital information to relevant authorities for prompt action.

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