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Drugs abuse: Behavioural scientist raises alarm over teenage initiation

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Dr Alfred Makanjuola, Consultant Behavioural Scientist, University of Ilorin, has raised alarm over initiation of teenagers into drug abuse in Kwara.

Makanjuola said on Friday in Ilorin that children between the age of 10 and 18 got initiated into taking the drugs.

He spoke at the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

His lecture was entitled: “Drug abuse in Nigeria: Rolling back the woes, shame and sorrows”.

The behavioural scientist lamented that drug abuse has reached epidemic level, rating drug abuse in Ilorin as the highest at cross-country.

He said: “Studies indicated that among children ages ranging from 10 to 18 years in Ilorin West, the use of opiate is 11.3 per cent.”

Makanjuola also disclosed that from ages 19 to 53, users of Cannabis constitute about 65 per cent, those using tobacco are 42.5 per cent, alcohol 35 per cent while Tramadol users constitute 30 per cent, among others.

According to him, most people abusing tramadol drug were predisposed to seizures.

The expert further revealed that there are 54.4 per cent users of tramadol in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

“In the United States, reports there indicated that 70 per cent of ages ranging from nine to 72 years take alcohol, 22 per cent are into binge drinking, 40 per cent use cannabis, 11. 4 per cent use inhalants, three per cent use heroine and 2.3 per cent use injection,’’ he said.

Makanjuola listed some of the drugs abused to include fermented horney, alcohol, caffeine, hallucinogens, nicotine, opioids, petrol, soakaways or latrines, tobacco, shisha and burnt scorpions.

He warned that the effect of drug abuse in the country is alarming as it could lead to deaths, accidents, medical issues, psychological, financial, unproductive youths and decreased GDP, among others.

The scientist however said some natural reward systems like water, food, safety and nurturing could curb drug abuse.

He also called for establishment of more rehabilitation centres across the country, and advocacy to provide and improve social support.

Earlier in his Valedictory speech, Dr Kunle Olawepo, the Chairman of NMA, Kwara Chapter, said the association would continue to crusade against drug abuse in the country.

Olawepo said his tenure has succeeded in strengthening the bond of members, promoted infrastructural development, economic innovation, medical missions and outreach to communities, among others.


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