The president of the Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC), Frank Ezeona has expressed his bemusement over the rate at which Nigerians, especially the youth population, suffer from drug disorders as a result of addiction.
Frank, who was at the International World Drug Day event organized in Enugu, revealed the alarming number of youths who engage in one form of drug abuse or the other, adding that these abuses lead to incidences such as rape, assault, among others.
According to him, “People suffering from drug and alcohol addiction have a higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic violence incidents. From all indications, our society today shows that 70 percent of our youths is victims of drug abuse due to one reason or another which also leads them to commit offences like rape, kidnapping, robbery and cybercrimes leading to jail term.
He continued, “You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s prescription. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality. But usually, you’re able to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.
“Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behaviour. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.
“Drug addiction isn’t about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances,” he said, noting that, “At first, you may choose to take a drug because you like the way it makes you feel. You may think you can control how much and how often you use it. But over time, drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose self-control and can lead you to damaging behaviours.
“All misused drugs affect the brain. They cause large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our emotions, motivation and feelings of pleasure, to flood the brain and produce a ‘high’.”