The Office of Judicial Affairs of the American University of Nigeria, AUN,
on Friday, March 11, hosted a seminar to educate students on the dangers and legal implications of using illicit drugs.
Speaking on “Illicit Drug Use Amongst Nigerian Youth and the Legal Implications: A War Without End?”, the Chair, department of Private and Business Law, AUN, Dr. Agbo J. Madaki, said that the seminar was aimed at educating the youth on the legal consequences of drug abuse and the measures they could use to protect themselves and their loved ones from substance abuse.
He explained the meaning of narcotics and observed that the youth are the ones mostly indulge in substance abuse.
“Narcotics are any kind of substances that numbs the senses such as opium, morphine, belladonna, alcohol, etc. Youths are the main culprit of drug abuse.”
Dr. Madaki added that the situation has become worrisome such that the use of legal prescriptions has resulted in “legal highs” through self-medication.
He listed the drugs that are abused mostly to include, opioids, rophynal, morphine, diazepam, codeine, pentazocine, lexotan, vicodine and oxycontin.
Dr. Madaki cited a report by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, which shows that cannabis constitutes 80 percent of the substances the Nigerian youth abuse, trade and use in the country.
According to him, it was estimated that over 3 million bottles of benylin with codeine syrup are consumed in Kano state daily.
The don also disclosed that a 1996 report revealed that 80 percent of drugs and substance abusers are aged between 16 and 30.
He classified the types of drugs abused in Nigeria as stimulating substances, which directly act and stimulate the body, and hallucinogen drugs, which alter the brain to produce feelings of anxiety, euphoria, sadness and inner joy.
Others are sedatives, which are widely used to relieve stress, induce sleep or help users forget their problems, and solvent solutions or inhalants, which produce euphoria and emotional dis-inhibition.
Dr. Madaki, who pointed out that the long-term effects of drug intake and abuse are destructive, listed the causes of drug abuse to include curiosity, peer pressure and lack of parental care and supervision.
From the legal standpoint, Madaki said that the penalty for getting caught in drug and substance abuse is jail term.
By Doreen Achagh