As a young guy, I had learnt to value the lives of people and care for them; this was what prompted my passion for the pharmacy profession. I heard the voices of young people screaming in anguish at one of our northern states rehabilitation Centre, I had gone there representing a non-governmental cable Broadcasting station. The sight of the rehabilitation Centre looked like it was an abandoned building, the windows were already damaged and I could see some of the addicts through the burglary proof; but how do these ones survive here daily? They are drug addicts undergoing treatment at the rehabilitation Centre. One of the caregivers told me that the windows were broken by some aggressive addicted patients due to the extreme withdrawal syndromes they exhibited and about 87% of them were youths. I saw this young guy wailing extremely in agony as though he was being tortured to confess his past crimes. This was as a result of long term illicit drug misuse. I thought I had seen it all until I saw a young girl of about 18 years, looking innocent and helpless. Damn! She was chained to the ground, dirty and had flies roaming all over her, looking like she was half dead. I had to be permitted to ask her why she was there.

Shaida is a Secondary School leaver; her elder brother introduced her to Cofflin and Emzolyn with codeine cough syrup about two years ago before he left for the military; she needed the syrups to clear her head whenever she was tired and frustrated which eventually helps her get high enough to get over her fears. This definitely became an addiction, Shaida grew to taking up to four bottles of codeine in a day and it still couldn’t get her ‘high’ enough. She eventually learnt how to boost the syrup with prescription tablets like Tramadol and Rohypnol, till it took over her senses. She was eventually admitted at the rehabilitation Centre after she stabbed her father in the thigh for destroying the bottles of codeine she had just managed to get from a patent medicine seller who sells drugs in their neighborhood. Yes, her neighborhood! Shaida is a victim of drug misuse… This might not have happened if some things had been put in place.

The country is at a state of emergency as regards drug misuse and many addicted youths are already becoming reckless and impatient with the recent ban of emzolyn with codeine syrup last year; this is the best time for every youth to step up and be the messiah to addicted people around us, we can’t allow medication become the serial killer of our generation. It is our primary duty as young minds to curb the misuse of drugs within the nation. Our nation might lose its youths to drug misuse as it has become a menace to the society.

This article was written by Banjo Oluwafemi; connect with him on IG here 

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