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Substance Abuse Effects

THURSDAY, 02 OCTOBER 2014 00:48 BY FAYOMBO SIMILEOLUWA, OLAKITAN ADEDOYIN AND


OKOLI MARYANN
The hope of every nation lies in the emergence of young ones into the world of leadership,
taking up responsibility and mentorship towards progress and development. Youths in any case
are known to represent the future as they presently constitute the bulk of society. If hope for
the future becomes bleak today, what is then to be anticipated in our tomorrow?
However, individuals, government and the world over have had a hard time combatting the
terrible and unrelenting menace of substance abuse, especially among the youths. It is the root
of most vices and the architect of many crimes.
Nigerian youths have also been ensnared in its venomous nest. Indiscriminate use of substance
ranging from alcohol, marijuana, cocaine heroin and many others have become the order of the
day especially among young Nigerians. This derogatory trend is like a time bomb waiting to
explode, and if it eventually does, it would spell doom for the society because of the dangerous
implications it attracts. In short, tsunami, hurricaneamong other disasters might not seem as
bad anymore as this looming mental disaster would be worse than any of such if not prevented.
In a seminar organized by the counseling unit of the University of Lagos, Dr.MaymunahKadiri of
Pinnacle Medical Center, in an interview with UNILAG MASSCOMM addressed the issue of drug
abuse and mental health. The world health organization (WHO) says for every four Nigerian,
one has a mentally related issue, which is of course is very high. Substance abuse is on the
increase in Nigeria today and at an alarming rate. In fact, we must begin to look at the factors
responsible. Is it as a result of unemployment,, family dysfunction. Stressing the signs of
sound mental health, she said
A mentally healthy individual is a person who is able to realize their own potentials, deal with
the day to day hassles of life, he is able to work productively and fruitfully and lastly, give back
to the society. Mentally unstable individuals on the other hand are all over the place dressed in
suits and gowns, they are likely to be working on a sub-optional level, be in unhappy
relationships and some have personality dis orders.
She added that the society worsens the issue with the stigmatization of the mentally unstable,
as this mostly leads to frustration and in some cases suicide.
There is need to therefore address substance abuse by youths,most especially in the family unit
as related causes of the abuse is as aresult of family instability, hence, affecting the social,

physical and mental wellbeing of youths who are often vulnerable to every viceexposed to by
their peers.
The youths also have a role to play because on daily basis, they are bothered with family issues,
finances, examination, harassment, rape, cultism, anxiety,low self esteem, relationships,
bereavement etc. The counseling unit of the university gives opportunity to talk to
professionals in the field on disturbing issues instead of resorting to substance abuse
as alternative.
When you are looking for that inspiration, please, substance, alcohol, cigarette, is not the
option nine out of ten patients on admission in my medical center are victims of substance
abuse and they are youths like you. Substance use, abuse and addiction is real, highly
incapacitating, emotionally and financially draining change starts with you. She quipped.
Apparently, there is need for more awareness regarding mental health and psychological well
being. Upon mental evaluation, it will be discovered that many seemingly normal people out
there are actually mentally unstable.
One fact remains indisputable, sound mental health is the message of the present, the past and
the future.