The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that about 20-30 per cent of youths consume illicit drugs saying that youth involvement in hard drugs is higher in Northern Nigeria.
This is coming on the heels of revelation by the Gombe State NDLEA Commander, Mr Aliyu Adole that teenagers under 15 years are currently addicted to hard drugs in Northern Nigeria, noting that the teens inject the substance to the veins using syringes.
He said the substances embolden the teenagers to carry out all sorts of vices, including unprotected sex stressing that the command had arrested many children while in the act.
“We took some of the children to Gombe State Agency for the Control of AIDS and some of them tested positive to the virus”.
Adole confirmed that some of the children are dotted with scary and unpleasant looks due to the adverse reactions of the drugs.
“We have tried to counsel them; we have tried to let them know the repercussions of taking illicit substance, but they do not listen to us”.
He pleaded with parents to monitor the behaviour of their children, saying that they have special role to play in assisting them to stay off drugs.
However, in a chat with LEADERSHIP in Abuja, the source who spoke on condition of anonymity, listed the prevailing drugs in the North as marijuana, Indian hemp and prescription drugs, saying that hard drugs are hardly transported to the region.
According to him, “In south and west, the most prevalent drugs are prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine while cocaine, heroin, Indian hemp and prescription drugs are dominant in the East.
He expressed worry that over the counter drugs like cough syrup, Tramadol, analgesic, Diazepam, D5, Raphynol, among others that are prescribed in hospitals, are currently abused.
On youth’s source of supply, he added, “It’s the cartel, dealers and rings that supply drugs to the youths and the same cartel sells from the South down to the North.
He noted that the drugs are mostly transported using heavy duty vehicles and stuffed in between goods adding that dealers distribute the drugs through minors.
On whether they have busted any ring, he said, “No, that is our job and that is what we keep doing because before they enter Abuja, we arrest some of them around Abaji and Gwagwalada.