By Eze Juliet U12MM1152
Drugs have been used by various societies in the world to received pains,alter perception and also provide pleasurable sensation. Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used intoxicating substance known to man. Some habit forming drugs for example,cocaine, cannabis, and opium had been cultivated as a tradition in various parts of the world. The extensive cultivation of these drugs has encouraged frequent use leading to drug abuse.
A drug is defined as any substance of plant,animal,or mineral origin or mixture of substances used in diagnosis,treatment, cure or prevention of any disease,abnormal physical state or symptoms of diseases in man or animal. Drugs are used mainly for medical.
Drug abuse on the other hand,is defined as the Indiscrimination use of drugs by self medication, self administration and for non-medical purposes such that the physical,mental and emotional or social state of the user is adversely affected.
Drugs could be classified as legal and illegal drugs. The legal drugs are the prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs,while illegal drugs are those which uses are under control. The abuse of these controlled drugs is dangerous to ones’ health. They include stimulants, for example Cocaine,Amphetamines, Nicotine, caffeine. Depressant; for example Alcohol,Barbiturates. And Narcotics; for example Morphine, Petrine, Codeine, Heroine among others.
Drug abuse is associated with various adverse effects. These have been reported in Nigeria and the world at large. The war against drug abuse must be fought particularly among adolescents and youths who have been consistently identified as high risk group. Students in junior and senior secondary schools as well as tertiary institution form a large proportion of this group.
People abuse drugs for many reasons,which include the need to cope with pressures of life, to have fun, to avoid boredom, to be confident and courageous and as a result of peer pressure.
Time without number,medical professionals have warned Nigerians on the dangerous effects of self medication or drug abuse. All drug related substances including Heroine and Cocaine which are taken without physician’s prescription or for medical purposes are psycho active drugs which have sharp effects on the brain and minds. The poor and the rich,old and young, the enlightened and the ignorant are victims of drug abuse in the Society. As unbelievable as this may sound, it is quite true.
Self medication or drug abuse brought some hazards,even death and complicated problems to many people. The heart, Liver, and brain problems caused by Alcohol cannot be enumerated here, yet many people still indulge in alcoholism. Worse still is the issue of many Nigerians using medication not prescribed by physicians. It is not strange to find around people who take Cigarette, Alcohol, Snuff, Kola nut and who in next minute opt for sedatives and analgesics to get rid of the consequent headache or pains.
Indian hemp(cannabis) also known as marijuana contain a powerful chemical which can impair brain activities, it decreases male sex hormone called testosterone and reduce sperm production, it interferes with menstrual cycle and cause birth defects. It equally harms the heart, lungs, and immune system as well as causing dependence and tolerance.
Cultism amongst our students has equally been linked to this hard drug. Alcohol, Tobacco and Cocaine can cause hypertension, heart attack, cancer of the lungs,mental derangement, sleeplessness and it decreases span of life and thus Smokers are liable to die young.
However,when the urge or temptation to indulge in drug abuse comes, there are positive alternatives activities and these include, having confidence and boldness in ones ability, learning to preserve in the face of frustration. One can equally overcome stress by physical recreation exercise, dancing, reading novels and magazines, spiritual activities, watching films/movies and participation in drug free concerts/clubs, etc.
In conclusion therefore, I strongly advice the people of both old and young to stop and avoid indiscriminate use of drugs. Parents should train their children and wards in the way of God and to do away with such acts capable of ruining their life completely. Let us make this Society a better place to live in. Say No To Drug Abuse!!!!