By Kamal Buba Danladi
The usage of drugs and other illicit substances is becoming rampant in the society today, and the situation in Kano for example is becoming worrisome. Hardly one finds a group of people and one of them is not into drugs. Incidentally, the group that is mostly affected by this menace is the youths. The drug epidemic has affected the youths so much so that some of them become psychologically and emotionally unstable.
A report by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) shows that 40% of Nigerian youths between 18 – 35 years of age are involved in drug abuse. In this perspective, it is apparent that the issue of drug abuse is something that needs urgent attention because the rate at which drug abuse is escalating in the state calls for the concern of appropriate authorities to spring into action to address it. This call is necessary as most of the youths start this habit from a very tender age, and gradually they become addicted to it. Most times, they hide and take the drugs without the knowledge of their parents, and gradually they develop confidence by making it a habit.
The youths engage in drug abuse for reasons ranging from poor parental background and peer group. In assessing some of the comments and reactions that I have read so far, most parents don’t develop a good relationship with their children because they are “busy” with work or business. Again, most parents don’t really engage their children with stimulating discussions to know about their lives, how they are feeling, the challenges they are facing, among others. They normally leave the children with little or no care, which makes such children vulnerable to drugs. It is also interesting to know that the law enforcement agents and health workers who are key stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse are also victims of this serial killer.
This is a wake-up call to people in authority, especially the parents because charity begins at home. Parents should create a very good relationship and quality time with their children, and by so doing, the children will feel very comfortable to upon-up and talk about their lifestyle as well as things that affect them. In other to curb this epidemic called “drug abuse” in Kano, there is a need for advocacy, and collective efforts by parents, religious leaders, and law enforcement agencies to come together in combating drug abuse in the state. This call is imperative as everyone stands to reap from the danger or the outcome of drug abuse in one way or the other in our contemporary society.
It is high time Nigerians stood in solidarity and conquer this serial killer in the name of drug abuse just the way we are standing in solidarity against Covid-19 because the catastrophe that drug abuse is causing in Nigeria, particularly in Kano is worse than what most of us envision. As the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed warned that World War II will be caused by fake news, this article warned that World War II will be caused by drug abuse. It is not a problem of a few in the society as almost every household in Nigeria has someone who is secretly or openly into drug abuse. A stitch in time saves nine.
*Danladi is a level third year student in the Department of Mass Communication, Skyline University Nigeria, Kano.