Drug misuse is an abnormal behavior characterized by indiscriminate use of drugs, slurred speech, loss of memory and depression. Defined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (2000) as the use of any substance under international control for purposes other than medical and scientific, including use without prescription in excessive dose levels over an unjustified period of time. Drug Misuse has the capabilities of destroying the potentials of a person which in the long run could negatively impact the community. Reasons young persons are drawn to drug misuse includes but not limited to peer pressure, low self-esteem ,to reduce stress level, sexual satisfaction and to feel good about themselves. It can lead to crime and unscrupulous behavior as insurgency and other crimes in Nigeria have been linked to Drug Misuse among Young Persons as reported in Punch Nigeria Newspaper –
Reduction in drug escapades among young people is possible but not without the collective effort of the Family, Community, Government, School, Civil Society and Religious Organizations to effectively use their platforms to educate their conflux on the negative effects of drug misuse on health and well-being (SDG3) but also on community and economic development. Decriminalizing drugs is not the solution to the menace of drug abuse but systematic effort need be put in place in engaging and redirecting youth vigor into productive tasks which would contribute to their personal development and well-being.
26th June of every year should not only be the time we raise awareness on the harmful effects of drugs but it should be done regularly to curb its harmful effect on the next generation.