By Evelyn Usman
Reports have recently ranked Nigeria as 5th in the world with the highest suicide rate of an average of six suicides per month. Substance use has been attributed as a major factor which leads people to commit suicide.
Also, the increase in cases of sudden deaths (such as suicide) among Nigeria’s youths in the country is reportedly connected to opioid overdose, which is the most common drug injected by youths.
Going by the recent trend, and if nothing is urgently done, Nigeria stands the risk of losing more than 100 youths daily to opioid overdose. This is because Nigeria’s population is said to be about 3% of the world population but 6% of the world population of cannabis users.
Again, report has also revealed that 14% of the world population who misuse pharmaceutical opioids are reportedly in Nigeria, thereby making Nigeria one of the countries in the world with the highest population of people who misuse tramadol and codeine cough syrup.
From the foregoing, substance abuse may become one of the leading causes of deaths in Nigeria.
Also worrisome is the increasing drug supply via the internet including the anonymous online marketplace known as the “dark net”.
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Another frightening dimension is drug manufacturing in Nigeria! Not too long ago, some laboratories where Methamphetamine were manufactured, were uncovered by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency , NDLEA.
As if that was not enough, a new version of manufacturing has reared its head, with the introduction of Hydrophonic outfit, where Cannabis is manipulated into the production of Hashish and Canaboil, both of which are illegal, since they contravene the extant NDLEA Act. Surprisingly, these laboratories which were uncovered in Jos, Plateau, and Lagos states, were discovered to be owned by a Chinese, a German, and a Nigerian.