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SPECIAL REPORT: Student dies from drug abuse, two others in coma

In recent times, the country has been awash with several cases of drug abuse and misuse as well as mental health issues especially suicide. How best can the government address this menace?
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A young student named Waris has died as a result of consuming hard drugs, commonly known as colos. Eyewitnesses report that three boys, including Waris, ingested colos along with unidentified substances, leading to the untimely death of one and leaving the remaining two in critical condition.

The details surrounding the incident remain unclear, but according to a friend of the deceased who spoke with Edugist reporter,the group of friends consumed a substance that had a profound and devastating impact on them. The friend expressed deep sorrow over the incident, stating, “We are very sad that this happened, and we don’t know what happened exactly, but I know they took something that affected them so much. We are shocked by the loss of Waris and deeply concerned for the two who are currently in a grave condition.”

The neighborhood of Fadeyi has been grappling with a distressing trend of substance abuse among young people , particularly those below the legal age and boys aged between 14 and 18. This incident serves as a painful reminder of the dangers associated with such drug misuse within the community. The prevalence of substance abuse has reached alarming levels, as exemplified by a recent incident where a young boy, after consuming colos, tragically hugged an electric transformer, resulting in an unthinkable outcome.

Parents residing in the area are distraught over the situation and are urging law enforcement agencies to intervene promptly. They highlight the urgent need for government intervention to address the escalating issue of substance abuse within the community. With substances like colos becoming disturbingly normalised among the youth, parents fear for the safety and well-being of their children.

The devastating loss of Waris and the critical condition of the two other students serve as a somber reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to tackle the rampant drug abuse problem. It is imperative for relevant authorities to step in swiftly, collaborate with community leaders, and implement effective strategies to combat substance abuse. Only through concerted action, increased awareness, and accessible support systems can the community of Fadeyi hopes to safeguard its young population and prevent further tragedies.

Earlier: What NGO says on Drug Abuse

NIGERIA will have a generation of mad people in the next 20 years, if the issue of drug abuse and trafficking are not addressed, according to Drug-Free Arewa Campaign Movement.

Ibrahim Yusuf, Lead Convener of the movement, made the assertion during an advocacy visit to the Kaduna State Attorney-General, Umma Hikima, on Tuesday in Kaduna.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the movement had earlier walked along some streets of Kaduna to raise awareness among residents on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking.

The walk, tagged `Arewa Day of Action’, was organised by the movement under the auspices of Arewa Young Leaders Initiative to raise awareness against drug abuse to secure a drug-free society in the north.

Yusuf told the attorney general that the level of drug abuse in the northern region was alarming and require collective action by all stakeholders to tame it.

According to him, the nation’s future leaders are currently trapped by the menace of drug and substance abuse and if not rescued will give birth to a generation of mad people with unimaginable consequences.

“Our campaign against drug trafficking and abuse intends to position youths in Northern Nigeria as leaders with capacity to emulate the excellent leadership skills of our founding fathers.

“And we can only achieve this by addressing drug abuse and free our youths from its trap.”

Yusuf urged the attorney general to ensure that all relevant laws to stem the circulation of illicit drugs were enforced and traffickers effectively punished, so as to take the drugs off the streets.

He also sought for partnership with the ministry of justice in creating sustained awareness among youths in the state to shun drugs and live decent lives.

According to him, the group has reached out to 23 million youth across the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory with information on how to avoid drug addiction or lured into drug trafficking.

Also speaking, Mr Joshua Gadzama of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, commended the group for the effort to raise awareness against drug abuse.

According to him, about 90 per cent of the youth population in the country are involved in one form of drug abuse or the other, stressing that creating the needed awareness will go along way in curbing the trend.

Responding, the Attorney-General commended the group for the initiative, describing it as crucial to raising needed awareness for effective prevention.

Hikima, who was represented by Bayero Dari, Director Public Prosecution, said: “90 per cent of the cases we prosecute are cases motivated by use of drugs.

“I want to assure you that we will key into this initiative in ensuring that youth in Kaduna state desist from wasting their lives to drugs.”

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