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Possible Approaches To Minify Adverse Societal Effects Of Elicit Drug Abuse

1762 words - 8 pages

Illicit drugs, narcotics and other psychotropic substances have always been a part of our society. And as a community of well intentioned and well meaning responsible members of the society, we have collectively been at the fore front of the fight against the illegal marketing and improper use of these drugs. We accept that the extreme practices as regards illicit drugs have had significant impact on our society and it is our desire and responsibility to eliminate or at worse minify the adverse effect of these practices on our world.
Nigeria has had her fair share of the global drug related skirmishes and strife. Her society has not been spared of the socio-economic and health challenges resulting from drug issues and practices. As a country who is a top international player, we have complied with all United Nations conventions on drugs which are directed towards the criminalization of drugs and one which has had no objections or vetoed any extreme measure employed in complying with these conventions. Consequently, the Nigerian government has through several laws and decrees [including the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance of 1984, special military Tribunal Decree No. 20 of 1984 which provided capital punishment for any person duly convicted of extreme drug related offences, Decree No. 48 of 1989 now an act of parliament CAP N30 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ] (NDLEA, 2013), criminalized the use, possession, production, sale, importation or exportation of narcotic and psychotropic substances. The common goal and intention for the enactment and enforcement of these laws by the various administrations have been to make our country free from drugs and drug related issues.
I will not say this approach has been an absolute failure, however over time it has not been very effective in completely curbing the ever growing drug menace in Nigeria. The reported cases of drug abuse and trafficking have sky-rocketed as compared to the 1970s and 1990s. Available data confirms that drug abuse and trafficking has increased by more than 80%. Figures sourced from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH Calabar Archive) shows that an increasing number of patients are being treated for drug related medical and psychiatric issues. The Nigerian police have made more arrests on drugs offenders than any other category. A recent poll result published by NOI polls Limited, showed that 91 percent of the respondents in a survey agreed that there is a higher level of drugs and substance abuse in Nigeria. The Weekly Trust a Nigerian daily reports, “despite efforts being put by Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) towards fighting the menace of illicit drugs production, circulation, marketing and consumption, more Nigerian youths are abusing and becoming addicted to illicit drugs”. Undoubtedly, the current drug criminalization approach and law enforcement strategies at controlling illegal drugs have been largely unsuccessful. It therefore falls within the...

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