Increasing Trend of Drug Addiction and Urgent Call for Rehab Centers in Ota
By: Ajasa Ololade
The use of mind altering and brain inducing substances of natural origin has been known since prehistoric times. For centuries people have tried to either complement some pleasant features to life or escape from unpleasantness, whether real or imaginary.
For instance, drinking of palm wine and locally brewed alcohol such as ‘Ogogoro‘ and ‘Burukutu‘ have significantly played these roles of mental alteration and inducement. Report has it that the use of these substances was more of occasional and in moderation with few exceptions. This was the trend in most parts of Nigeria until after the late 40s’, when cannabis (hemp) popularly known as ‘Igbo‘ was introduced through the war veterans who brought back the cannabis seed from India after the Second World War.
Back to Ogun state, Ota precisely, ingenuity had been introduced into drug abuse with complex mixtures, experimentation and new discoveries. This has resorted to the abuse of ‘lizard dung’, ‘Geskolo‘, a concoction of unimaginable substances, pharmaceutical products like Tramadol, Rohyphol, codeine and many more.
The trend changed dramatically in recent years when herbal brewed gins such as ‘Alomo bitters’ and its likes became a major medical, psychological, social and economic problem facing the town. It is mostly used with ‘Viagra’- a drug used to treat impotence or to spice up their love life. Its immediate consequences include vices like rape, violence, depressions, psychological and psychotic trauma and so on.
On possible Antidotes
Beyond referral for rehabilitation at its specialized centers, counseling units in institutions of learning should be resuscitated with capacity to provide drug counseling and rehabilitation procedures. As a means of urgent rehabilitation of our erring youths in Ota and other Awori towns and villages, there is need for rehabilitation centers to be established by the relevant stakeholders. By so doing, isolating the affected youths will not only improve their health being, it will further rejuvenate their mental states.
The sociological implications of drug abuse among our youths have been a threat to peaceful coexistence of all and sundry in our contemporary society. It has further negatively affected human personalities in terms of the integrity of dependence of life.
Our youths occupy a delicate and sensitive position for several obvious reasons. Between the ages of 12-17, a person can be regarded as a juvenile and while he/she may be held responsible for his/her acts or omission, such a person is treated specially under the law by the Children Acts instead of the Criminal Procedure Act. Hence, the importance of these formative years cannot be overemphasized.
Drug barons prefer to recruit youths between the ages of 15-35 for drug trafficking most of who are unschooled, unskilled and unemployed. Therefore, parents and the society in collaboration with schools should be actively involved in the educational process of youths within these age brackets.
Parents/Guardians particularly should regularly monitor the activities of their children or wards as regards the kind of friends they keep, late night activities, surfing the Internet, etc, because all kinds of attitude could easily be traced to the home. “Charity they say begins at home”.
Edited by: Asanbe Dayo