Editorial: Nigerian Youths, Crystal Meth And Crack Cocaine Abuse

3 years ago
2 mins read

A few months ago, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, Mr Buba Marwa, said that the problem of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria was on its way to “being under control.”

Apparently, that statement still holds good because the problems are indeed still on their way to “being under control,” even as the trend takes on a more frightful and worrisome dimension.

Historically, Nigeria has been riddled with the menace of drug trafficking and abuse and the industry has progressed into a vicious network of crime that even indicts some state actors. The menace seems to take on different forms with different substances being the theme in every era. Today, it is crystal meth or methamphetamine. Also called “mkpụrụ mmiri” in the local parlance, the substance derives this name from its nature which resembles shards of crystal glass.

The use of meth is prevalent in the South-East. Social media is awash with videos of young men who have been knocked senseless and have perpetrated the most monstrous actions under the effect of the drug.

Crystal meth works quickly and produces an extreme sensation of euphoria. The substance can be smoked, sniffed, injected or swallowed. The illegal and highly dangerous drug targets the central nervous system causing intense elevated moods which experts say are much stronger than cocaine-induced moods.

Crystal meth abuse now joins a plethora of social vices ravaging Nigeria. From banditry to terrorism and unemployment, the unwholesome substance has been adjudged to he responsible for the soaring rate of violent crimes, and the unyielding response of perpetrators of such crimes in the face of their brutish actions.

In tertiary institutions, meth is the order of the day. Students are perching on a precarious position of mental derangement and death in its extreme due to intake of this illegal drug. The adverse effects of meth is not solely borne by the individual, but by the society at large which suffers a dearth of conscious and mentally stable youths.

Economic activities also significantly dwindle in areas where the issue is rife because the abnormal psychic conditions of the intoxicated youths prohibit robust entrepreneurial engagement or a decent professional conduct.

The Nigerian government however seems to have risen promptly to address and curb the threat. A member of the House of Representatives representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency, Imo State, Hon Henry Nwawuba, at the plenary on Thursday moved a motion calling for an urgent national intervention policy to arrest the development and abuse of other drugs.

According to the spokesman of NDLEA chairman Mr Femi Babfemi, “Since the 1990s, production of crystal meth has been hijacked by Mexican drug cartels and they came into Nigeria to set up laboratories in 2016.”

Another legislator Lynda Ikpeazu noted that the implications of the drug would be appalling in the next 10 years. “It does sound like a joke, but it is actually very serious and killing a lot of people. In the next 10 years, if we don’t stop it, we are going to have a zombie society. In my constituency, you will see an 11-year-old person taking meth. What kind of future are we expecting these youths to have? We are going to have a doped-up society, a Zombie society. That is not good,” she said.

Members of some communities in Anambra State have taken the laws into their own hands to tackle the challenge by adopting physical measures to curb the menace. In Umudioka, community, leaders and members have said they are prepared to combat the issue.

The future seems unpromising and hopeless with the surge of these vices. Nigerian youths are at the mercy of the influence of illegal stimulants.

It is imperative that effective policies be promptly implemented by relevant authorities and government to tackle this situation and rescue youths from the clutches of this ignoble development.


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