A Drug Abuse and related vices Prevention Committee has cautioned Nigerian Youth on the negative effects of drug abuse, saying it is detrimental to their health and future.
The group gave the caution during its preventive drug education campaign at Okue Autonomous Community in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area in Ebonyi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Drug Abuse and related vices Prevention Committee was inaugurated in August by the President General of Ishiagu Town Development Union (ITDU).
It is to create awareness on the negative effects of drug abuse among the youth and how to salvage the community.
The Secretary of the committee, Mr Augustine Nduka, in a document made available to NAN noted that wrong use of drug had many negative effects on people.
He said that the effects could be noticed in the victims thinking, behaviour, mood and perception among others.
Nduka presented a paper titled “Nature and types of drugs, drug abuse process and consequences’’ with the theme: “Drugs: the killer of dreams killing me softly”.
According to him, drug is any chemical substance (synthetic or natural) which when taken into the body by any means whatsoever changes the structure and functions of the body or behaviour of the user.
He listed some of the harmful drugs as Cigarettes, Alcohol, Kolanuts, Rohypnol, Shisha, Cocaine, Heroin, Cannabis Sativa, Amphetamine, Codeine Cough syrup and Tramadol among others.
He said: “a drug is said to be abused when its use is not medically necessary or for non- medical purpose or its use is legally prohibited and if it is excessively used.
“Drug addiction is an illness, a brain disease, it is an illness with specific signs and symptoms which if recognised early treatment is easier to achieve.
“When the symptoms are not recognised and handled early, it progresses to a more problematic stage with many consequences.
Also, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Joseph Nwachukwu, said that it would be beneficial for the youth to resist any pressure to engage in drug abuse and addiction.
Nwachukwu said that no excuse is good enough, including unemployment, to entail anyone to go into drug abuse.
He attributed the causes of drug abuse to peer group pressure, curiosity, availability of drugs, advertisements, illness, parental deprivation, parental drug use and environmental influence.
He, therefore, advised parents to look out for warning signs in the behavioural change of drug addicts such as chronic dishonesty, sudden outburst of inappropriate and increasing anger, and trouble with law enforcement.
He mentioned other signs to include: frequent change in friends, reduced motivation, diminishing interest in extracurricular activities, sudden changes in attitude and mood.
He added changes in personal dressing and grooming, resisting discipline at home, impaired relationship with family members, increased demand for money.
Others are selling of household items or possessions belonging to himself, his parents or friends, secretiveness as well as coming home late.
The chairman said that signs of physical deterioration resulting from drug abuse include memory lapses, short attention span and difficulty in concentration, poor physical coordination, slurred and incoherent speech, indifference in personal appearance and hygiene and grooming.
“Blood shot eyes and dilated pupils, as well as dramatic changes in school performance, are signs also’’, he said.
Nwachukwu added that a drug user might also start having a drastic downward change in student’s grade, lack of concentration in class accumulation and abandoning of assignments, always seating behind in the class and always sleeping in the class.
NAN also gathered that the committee shared relevant flyers and materials to 108 youth members who were in attendance.(NAN)