Causes And Effects Of Drug Abuse In Nigeria

Causes And Effects Of Drug Abuse In Nigeria. The word “drug” can mean both one thing and another at the same time. Because of this, the meaning of a drug would change depending on where it is being used. This article contains all you need to know about drug abuse.

causes and effects of drug abuse in nigeria

Overview Of Drug Abuse

Globally, drug abuse is both a health and social problem. There are different conditions and problems that vary from place to place, so it’s not the same everywhere. If you have a drug or substance use disorder, the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual of mental edition (5th ed.) says that it’s a group of symptoms that happen when you use drugs, even though there are obvious problems with that.

The long-term use of psychoactive substances by adolescents and young people has become a public issue around the world because it could cause intentional or unintentional harm or injury. At this age, many young people in Nigeria try drugs because they are curious, pressured by their peers, and they want to “relieve” their stress. A person who starts taking gateway drugs like alcohol and tobacco when they are young is more likely to start taking other hard drugs later.

Some adolescents may try drugs and stop or use them only a few times without having any negative consequences. Others become addicted to drugs and become more vulnerable to other dangerous drugs, which can cause a lot of damage to themselves and their families and communities.

See also: 7 ways to quit smoking and drug addiction

Drugs that are often used in Nigeria

Cannabis, codeine, amphetamine/dexamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, diazepam, and cough syrup, Reactivan (fencamfamine), Mandrax, and tramadol were the most commonly implicated substances, consistently reported by the majority of research. In the early 1980s, studies routinely revealed adverse effects from certain medications. Three publications from 1982 reported on Proplus (caffeine 50 mg), while research from 1981 to 2011 reported on Madrax (methadone and diphenhydramine).

There may be a correlation between the lack of these medications in recent research and Nigeria’s drop in their availability. Cannabis was the most often reported substance of abuse in all of the research groups. Marijuana usage was found to be 10.8 per cent among the total population, and 22.7 per cent among those under the age of 25. The combined prevalence of abuse among secondary school pupils was 12.5%, ranging from 0.6% to 34%. 8–11% of undergraduates reported using cannabis, making it a widespread problem on campus.

In high school kids, the rate of cocaine misuse is 1.6–4.8 per cent, in college students, it is 0.6–10 per cent, and in the general population, it is 0.1–0.6 per cent. Cocaine consumption in Nigeria may be linked to a rise in drug trafficking, despite the country’s current legal controls. In the studies that included it, codeine was the third most often reported substance of abuse. 2.4 per cent of the general population (all ages) and 22.7 per cent of teenagers were found to have been abused.

Between 5.3 and 28 per cent of college students and secondary school students were found to have a frequency of 3–8.2 per cent, respectively. The most commonly abused substances are listed in Table 1. Many factors might be at play, including the availability of drugs, peer pressure, and even inadequate counselling services at secondary and university campuses.

Causes of Drug Abuse

Why do individuals overuse drugs? Or why are pharmaceuticals being abused? A few of the numerous reasons are:

  1. It is gotten without trouble.
  2. Peer group pressure is generated by the desire to join and be accepted.
  3. Ignorance. Ignorance is one of the main reasons for drug usage.
  4. Psychological and emotional stress in forms of sadness, stress, anxiety, poor self-esteem, etc.
  5. Desperation.
  6. To heighten performance, extremely distinctive with sportsmen.
  7. Due to societal pathologies like economic discontent, unemployment, etc.
  8. Occupational susceptibility.
  9. Facilitate communication
  10. Overcome other social problems
  11. Self-medication

See also: List of punishable crimes in Nigeria (Updated)

Drug Abusers’ Sources of Drugs

Drug misuse in Nigeria may be prevented by finding out where drug abusers get their narcotics from. It is possible to curb drug misuse by limiting the availability of these substances from known sources. Drugs that are being abused are found in just five research. In addition to pharmacies and patent medicine shops (23% to 33%) and open markets (17%), the most common sources were street vendors (8%), fellow addicts (8%), hawkers of traditional herbal preparations, and drug hawkers (7%). Family members (1.6–33%), friends (3%) and teachers 3% each were also common sources (3.0 per cent).

Reasons why Nigerians abuse drugs

Drug abuse in Nigeria can be reduced by determining the reasons why people use drugs, which could lead to the development and implementation of targeted interventions. Several explanations for drug abuse were offered in the eleven studies that were reviewed. Many people use it to improve their physical performance, drive pleasure, unwind/sleep, experiment/curiosity, stay awake/sleep, relieve stress, relieve anxiety, be unemployed/frustrated, and have it readily available. These are just a few of the most common motivations.

Individuals who use drugs and go on to misuse and abuse them do so for a variety of reasons, including the desire to learn about the “unknown” that drugs hold. First-time drug users report feelings of extreme pleasure and happiness, which spurs them on to continue abusing drugs. Nigeria’s high poverty rate of about 50 per cent and a rising unemployment rate of 23.1 per cent indicate that many Nigerians face a difficult socio-economic situation.

People may be more likely to turn to drug abuse if they have to work harder to make ends meet, or if they are trying to cope with the stress and frustration of day-to-day life in a tough neighbourhood.

Effects of Drug Abuse

Drug misuse has medical, physical, social, economic, and psychological upshots that are life-threatening. These impacts bring about serious health difficulties that might impair the essential organs of the human body.

Medical and Physical Effects

  1. Premature death
  2. Aberrant behaviours include sluggish and non-cohesive speech, easily furious, unfriendly, sirritated, slow and irregular motions, etc.
  3. Damages the liver and brain.
  4. Loss of self-control.
  5. Kidney and heart problems.
  6. Impotence in males.
  7. The nervous breakdown leads to shaking of hands, head and body.
  8. Irregular heartbeat.
  9. Raises one’s blood pressure resulting in High Blood Pressure.
  10. Will lead to Cancer of the stomach (gastric cancer) (gastric cancer).
  11. Could injure unborn infants and end a pregnancy.
  12. Poor supply and circulation of blood
  13. Hepatitis
  14. Loss of appetite
  15. Body odour.
  16. Dark lips, fingers and feet.
  17. Brown appearing and damaged teeth.
  18. Threadbare appearance
  19. Drug dependence and addiction

Social And Economic Effects of Drug Abuse

  1. Results in financial difficulty and destitution.
  2. Laziness/ bad operation in one’s work, academics, family, etc.
  3. May lead to social marginalization.
  4. Accident while driving.
  5. May lead to theft and larceny.
  6. Results in the participation of one’s self in immoral actions such as prostitution, etc.

Read also: Bad breath: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Drug Abuse’s Psychological Effects

  1. If you’re suffering from depression, your only alternative may be to take your own life. Having depression may lead to a host of other problems, including crazy.
  2. Insomnia, often known as sleeplessness, is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep even when the necessary conditions for sleep are present, such as the lack of noise.
  3. When a person is suffering from psychosis, their capacity to interact with the world around them is severely affected.
  4. There are five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. A hallucination occurs when a person experiences something that isn’t really there but is perceived as if it were there.
  5. Extreme anxiety and terror are symptoms of paranoia.
  6. Abnormal behaviours, such as those described as “aberrant,” may result


Drug taking has far-reaching consequences that impact not just the person, but also his or her family and the wider community. National growth, family stability and social security are all threatened by an increasing number of young people being involved in drug use and misuse. If you have any opinion relating to this article, kindly use the comment section below.

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