By Adekunbi Lawal
Illicit drug use, abuse, trafficking is no doubt at an alarming rate in Nigeria to the extent that every week we hear news of drug offenders arrested by NDLEA agents in various parts of the country.
Though this is a global issue, the focus here is on Nigeria which was a transit country for drug trafficking to Asia and South America some years ago but unfortunately is presently a “producing” country of narcotic substances with many citizens as users, a development which has rendered a lot of the victims especially the youths useless not just to their families but the society as well.
The festive season has come and gone; the period where all forms of social vices are prevalent; with the youngsters at the receiving end because they tend to be manipulated (pressured) to try new things- mostly negative which could be as a result of parental negligence, unemployment, poverty, harsh economic realities, etc. Importantly, the drug abuse trend amongst the youths especially is greatly attributed to the entertainment industry with the help of media platforms.
Music videos displayed on the TV and lyrics of most songs by artists clearly portray that use of illicit substances like cannabis is “cool” and using such makes one feel accepted by one’s peers in the society. In my opinion, I believe the entertainment industry can join hands in the fight against the drug menace by means of censoring the kind of contents they push out because these contents glorifying substance use by celebrities/ social influencers negatively influence the youths who see these entertainers as their role models.
Therefore, as we bask and merry in the euphoria of festive seasons/activities, it is the duty of everyone starting from the family not just for the law enforcement agencies to prevent/curb the drug abuse currently ravaging the country which is rampant amongst the youths; educating them on the dangers of drug abuse and also offering love, support, to drug victims instead of stigmatisation. A drug free society is achievable and possible, not by mere words but ACTION.
Adekunbi Lawal writes from fct, Abuja.