‘Western influence responsible for drug abuse among youths’



In a room with chairs arranged in three compartments in a popular hotel in GRA Benin City were three girls in their mid- twenties, seated, two sipping from a disposable cup which content was a bottle of whiskey while the third one held a plastic of soft drink which contents was what they called “dirty” coke.

The Guardian became interested in the lady sipping the “soft drink” when it was noticed that she was slur in her response to issues and refused to share the bottle with anybody. On inquiry, it was discovered that the soft drink was mixed with drugs which the lady said she needed to be “high”.

In a beer parlour joint along a street behind the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, some youths, mostly boys, always gather speaking in high pitches. It was discovered that some of them are under the influence of various substances ranging from alcohol, but particularly cannabis.

Drug abuse and use of banned substances like cannabis have become very popular among youths including many from very rich homes, who are mostly undergraduates of private universities in the State.

Those who spoke to The Guardian had no serious reason to indulge in drug abuse apart from peer influence. A blogger and social analyst, Kemi Akinjare, however, believed that it has much to do with western influence.

“We are culturally bankrupt because of the western media influence. I was in Lagos some days ago, and was surprised that most youths troop to nightclubs with drugs like cocaine, marijuana, codeine, Tramadol and even Rafenol that use to be drugs used by rapists.”

She said that some of the girls who crave to be high ladies are “usually ladies of the night. Not girls that stand on the road selling sex, I mean the young girl that uses three big phones that she cannot afford, drives a car that she cannot afford, she has to sell herself and most times, when they sell themselves to high customers, the only way they will be able to do that with a stranger is to get high.

“Two weeks ago, I was speaking with a friend who owns an NGO and you will be shocked to know the number of girls that are into drugs now are far higher than boys. Rafenol that boys use to rape females, the girls now ask the boys to buy it for them.”

“Three years ago, I was not hearing so much about kidney and liver disease among young people the way I am hearing of it today. It is because of drug abuse.”

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