The World Drug Report of 2019 has put drug use prevalence in Nigeria at 14.4 percent of the population, representing 14.4 million Nigerians aged 15 to 64 years.
This was revealed on Thursday, October 31st in Kaduna by the registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elisha Mohammed, when critical stakeholders gathered to brainstorm on alarming statistics on drug use prevalence in Nigeria and the way forward. Mohammed said curiosity and peer pressure were major factors pushing people especially school children and young persons into non-medical drug use.
The seminar was on drugs and substance abuse in Northwest organized by the PCN and Codeine Control and other Related Matters Working Group. It was to provide a platform of interaction to increase awareness of the effects of illicit drugs in the zone.
Mohammed said the Council was pained by the development, as it affected the country’s productive population. According to her, the use of illicit drugs has led to brain damage which is quite expensive to manage at rehabilitation centers. She appealed passionately to children steer clear of drug abuse, warning that it truncates life.
“You have a great future. God has deposited a lot of potentials in you. Drug abuse affects the way your body performs. It affects important parts of your body.
“It changes your brain chemistry. It takes control of your brain because it has affected the brain, some will become depressed. They look unkempt. They engage in strange behavior.
“The issue of drug abuse is a big problem in Nigeria and all of us must come together to come up with the way forward”, she said.