Research published yesterday, the 29th of January 2019, by the Nigerian government has revealed a shocking discovery of drugs
One in seven Nigerians uses drugs, the country’s first major national drug-use survey has shown.
The survey, a joint effort by the Nigerian government, the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC), showed that about 14.4 percent of Nigerians uses drugs. Meanwhile, the global average stands at 5.6 percent.
14.4 percent translates to 14.3 million people between the ages of 15 to 64. Surprisingly, this number is not inclusive of alcohol and tobacco users.
The data also showed that 4.6 million people (4.7% of the 190 population) uses painkillers like tramadol.
A documentary done by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2018 sparked conversations on drug use and its high incidence in the Northern part of Nigeria. This partly led to the country placing a ban on codeine-based cough syrups.
While the issue is widely known in the Northeast, the study reports that the highest number of drug users are in the Southwest (22.4 %).
Admitting that this is a problem, the Nigerian health minister Osagie Ehanire stated,
“Some of the findings of the survey presented today are striking and alarming.”
“They require concerted efforts to mitigate the negative consequences of this rising menace on the health, socio-economic and security of our nation”.
He noted that a drug-control masterplan to address this problem is underway.