The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has lamented that Nigerian youths are making the fight against drug abuse increasingly difficult by continually improving otherwise harmless substances which they take in substitution of banned drugs to get intoxicated.
The Head of Drug Reduction of the NDLEA in Adamawa State, Shehu Dankolo, made the point during an interaction with News Men in the state capital, Yola, stressing that drug abusers are constantly turning otherwise harmless consumer products as well as urine into substances of abuse to beat the banning of drugs they are known to abuse.
He explained, “There are certain controlled drugs, particularly codeine cough syrup. You know, federal government clamped seriously on them. Some of the companies closed down. So, the cough syrup that was initially N250 per bottle, but it is now sold for about N4,000. The same thing with tramadol which was N50 but is now about N500.
“Because these abused but banned drugs are so scarce and costly or entirely out of reach, people improvise other things. I won’t include so much detail so that people don’t read this and begin to experiment.
“There is a way they process urine. They take it and become intoxicated. There is a way they put maggi in some energy drinks and it gives them intoxication. There is a certain sweet they put in half bottle of water which they cover up and leave for some days. They form such other things. There are what we call new psychoactive substances. That is why drug abuse is difficult to tackle.”
He reiterated that despite the serious dangers of drug abuse and the best efforts of the NDLEA, drug abuse remained difficult to fight because of the foregoing ways and others that drug abusers continually invent ways to remain in the habit, but said some successes were being achieved in remedial efforts.
“Much awareness is being created through people like you (journalists). It would have been a lot worse if structures like the media, the NDLEA and others are not in place working hard,” he said