A medical doctor at the Ahmadu Bello University, (ABUTH), Dr. Aliyu Abubakar has said 85% of mentally ill Nigerians at the moment are youth who fell within the age range of 18-38 years.
The doctor said this while delivering a paper titled “Drug Abuse in Nigeria, Cause, Effects, and Solution”. The paper was delivered at a sensitization workshop for youths and organized Bizara Youth Development Association in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Dr. Abubakar identified drug abuse as a major cause of mental disease among the youth.
According to him, in order to abuse substance, youth have adopted various means like inhaling lizard feces, putting their noses into pit toilets, smoking matches, smoking dried horse feces and mixing lizard feces with dye powder.
He referenced a recent report which revealed about three million bottles of cough syrup containing codeine was consumed daily in Kano state and about six million bottles consumed in the North-West.
Speaking further, he said the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) reported that 40% of Nigerian youth are involved in drug abuse.
He noted the negative effects of drug abuse include mental disorder, liver disease, lethargy, cardiovascular disorder and many more.
Mallam Yahaya Nuhu, Chairman of Bizara Youth Development Association while speaking urged parents to ensure they monitor their children as well as those they relate with.
He also called on the government to introduce a stiffer penalty for drug dealers, ensuring they are punished accordingly.
He advised youth to be wary of peer pressure and bad influence. He encouraged them to be worthy ambassadors of their families and communities.
“Members of the society also have a role to play towards curbing the menace of drug abuse, especially by monitoring activities of the youths. Additionally, community members can advise parents where necessary, and also supply vital information to relevant authorities for prompt action,” he said.