Drug use among Nigerian youths is a pressing concern that demands attention.
Many Nigerians have have had personal experiences on how drug use affects the lives of many individuals and communities.
There are several reasons why Nigerian youths turn to drugs, and this article will shed light on them to help us gain valuable insights into the root causes of drug use among young people and work towards developing effective solutions to address this pressing concern.
Reasons Behind Drug Use Among Nigerian Youths
Unemployment stands as one of the primary reasons why many Nigerian youths turn to drugs. The lack of job opportunities and underemployment lead to feelings of frustration, hopelessness, and disconnection from society.
Young individuals facing these challenges may see drugs as a way to escape their harsh realities momentarily. When they can’t find work or contribute meaningfully to society, it can lead to a sense of worthlessness, and some may turn to drugs as a coping mechanism.
Unemployment not only affects the individual but also has a broader impact on families and communities. Without the financial means to support themselves or their loved ones, young people may resort to illicit activities like drug peddling to make ends meet, further perpetuating the cycle of drug abuse.
Peer pressure plays a significant role in shaping the behaviors of Nigerian youths. As social beings, we all seek acceptance and validation from our friends and peers. Unfortunately, some young people fall prey to negative peer influence, where they are encouraged to engage in risky behaviors like drug use to be part of a particular group or to be considered “cool” or “trendy.”
The desire to fit in can be a powerful force, especially during adolescence when youths are more susceptible to peer pressure. When young people see their friends using drugs without apparent immediate consequences, they may believe that it is a harmless or normal activity. As a result, they may experiment with drugs, unaware of the severe and long-term repercussions of such actions.
Family play a crucial role in a young person’s development. Unfortunately, some Nigerian youths come from families with troubled relationships, such as constant fighting, neglect, or emotional abuse.
These family problems can leave deep emotional scars on the minds of young individuals, leading to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
For some, drugs become a way to cope with these emotional challenges. They may use drugs as a form of self-medication, seeking temporary relief from their pain or trauma. Without the necessary support and guidance, they might find it difficult to discuss their emotional struggles with others, leading them to turn to drugs as a means of escape.
Easy Access to Drugs
In certain local areas in Nigeria, drugs are readily available, making it more tempting for young people to try them. The lack of proper drug control and weak law enforcement may contribute to the proliferation of drug peddling and distribution networks.
For impressionable youths who lack awareness of the dangers of drugs, easy access can lead them to experiment without fully understanding the potential consequences.
Lack of Good Role Models
Positive role models play a crucial role in shaping the behavior and decision-making of young people. Unfortunately, not all Nigerian youths have access to positive influences or role models to look up to.
In the absence of strong mentors or parental figures, they may be more susceptible to the influence of negative societal pressures, including drug use.
Having positive role models can help young people see healthier alternatives to drug use and inspire them to pursue positive life paths. Role models can offer guidance, support, and encouragement, fostering a sense of hope and optimism about the future.