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Silent Epidemic: A Plea to Confront Nigeria’s Youth Drug Crisis

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Yemisi Agbaje

In the shadows of our nation’s bustling streets and vibrant communities, there lurks a silent epidemic that threatens to devour the future of our youth. It is a crisis that has crept into the hearts and minds of our young ones, ensnaring them in a vicious cycle of addiction, despair, and shattered dreams. I speak, of course, of Nigeria’s drug crisis among its youth—a scourge that demands our urgent attention and unwavering resolve.

As I reflect on this pressing issue, I am reminded of the countless lives that have been derailed and destroyed by the insidious grip of addiction. I think of the bright-eyed young men and women who once held the promise of a bright future, only to succumb to the lure of drugs like gbana, colorado, and tramadol. These are not just names on a list; they are the faces of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbours—each one a poignant reminder of the human toll exacted by this crisis.

For too long, we have turned a blind eye to the realities facing our youth, choosing instead to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the problem will simply go away on its own. But the truth is that the drug crisis among Nigeria’s youth is not going away; it is growing more rampant by the day, claiming new victims and spreading its tendrils deeper into the fabric of our society.

We cannot afford to remain silent any longer. We must confront this crisis head-on, with courage, compassion, and unwavering determination. This means acknowledging the gravity of the problem and taking decisive action to address its root causes, from poverty and unemployment to lack of access to education and healthcare.

It also means providing support and resources for those struggling with addiction, so they can break free from the chains of dependency and reclaim their lives. This includes investing in rehabilitation centres, counselling services, and other forms of treatment that offer hope and healing to those in need.

But perhaps most importantly, we must tackle the stigma and shame that too often surround addiction, preventing individuals from seeking help and communities from offering support. We must foster a culture of empathy and understanding—one that recognizes addiction as a disease, not a moral failing, and offers compassion and support to those who are suffering.

As I write these words, my heart aches for the countless families who have been torn apart by the scourge of drug addiction. I think of the parents who have watched helplessly as their children spiral out of control, the siblings who have lost their brothers and sisters to overdose, and the friends who have mourned the loss of their companions far too soon.

But even in the midst of this darkness, there is hope. Hope that by coming together as a nation, we can overcome this crisis and build a brighter future for our youth. Hope that by standing in solidarity with those who are struggling, we can offer them the support and compassion they need to heal. And hope that by raising our voices and demanding action, we can create a society where drugs are not a scourge but a distant memory.

So let us not shrink from this challenge, but rather embrace it with open hearts and minds. Let us stand together as one nation, united in our determination to confront the drug crisis among our youth and build a better tomorrow for generations to come. If we fail to act now, the consequences will be too devastating to bear

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