Participants at the event.
2023: Group warns youths against drug abuse
.Says it causes electoral violence, mental illness, others
By Nweze Anaga, Abakaliki
A non-governmental organization, Development And Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation, in collaboration with United Nations Office On Drug And Crime (UNODC) DAPC Grant, has warned the youths to keep away from drug abuse to avoid its devastating consequences, which include electoral violence, mental illness, academic failure and societal disorder.
The group gave the advice during a live interactive radio programme in Abakaliki.
During the programme, the Principal Criminal Psychologist in Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Mr. Eze Nsi Ude, while chronicling the consequences of drug abuse more especially among young people, said that substances had overriding effects on every aspect of ones life when addicted.
He said that evidence had shown that youths involvement had been the reason behind drug abuse, stressing that “drug free action among the youths simply means how to take children away from drugs.”
He further explained that there was a link between drug abuse and mental illness, which has made some victims to start misbehaving on the street and thereby stand as a threat to the society because the politicians use them as an instrument of electoral violence, which could lead to loss of lives and properties, adding, “Over 80% of the youths today are into drug abus.”
“Drugs have implications on youths; even the adult; and the implications can be multifaceted in the sense that it cuts across the family, individual, the community and the society at large.
“It contributes to electoral violence in the following ways: Quick money syndrome: the old, they young and the elderly want to make money by all means and it appears that the quickest way of making money today is through politics and drug dealing. Besides, because of that, people do all manner of things to secure that power and position in politics because they belief that once the clinch that power, heaven is their starting point; and of course, they will make money, which leads to a lot of political crisis we have today.
“The personal implications of substance abuse to the victim as the case may be is that there is a strong link between substance abuse and mental illness. For example, youths are being carried away by a local substance popularly called “Mkpurummiri”.
“Whenever they are intoxicated with this drug, you see them roaming on the street and be misbehaving. All these have a strong link with the substance the use.”