Announcing The Second Position Of The Drug Addiction Essay Competition For Nigerian Secondary Schools

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Editor

We are pleased to announce that Siyanbola E. Toluwalase of Government Secondary School, Gwagwalada, Abuja, has been selected by an independent panel of judges as the 2nd position of the Drug Addiction Essay Competition for Nigerian Secondary Schools. 

 

The epidemic of drug addiction in Nigeria has recently come to light. Those who are most vulnerable include young people. Therefore, to get them to think critically about the problems of drug use and abuse and partake in developing solutions to the problem we launched the Drug Addiction Essay Competition in November 2018.  

 

Read Siyanbola E. Toluwalase's essay to find out more about the entry. 

 

 

Bill gate on his recent visit to Nigeria said ‘Nigeria’s greatest asset lies in its human resources. The National Bureau of Statistics estimated that 60% of Nigeria’s population are Youths. Due to this untapped potential as a result of inadequate capacity development initiatives by the government, a cancer is slowly crippling these greatest assets, which is the wanton abuse of Drugs. The UN has listed Nigeria as the largest consumer of cannabis in Africa. Over 3 million bottles of codeine are consumed daily in Kano and Jigawa states alone. If we include the other 34 states of the country, the consumption of 3.5 million bottles is just barely scraping the surface.

 

In previous years, incidents of drug abuse were usually limited to the university in my community (University of Abuja), but more recently the menace has crept into secondary and primary schools. Students in my school have been expelled for drug abuse and vices related to consuming mind-altering drugs. Earlier this year, the attention of our school authorities was drawn to an almost lifeless student who passed out in the bushes due to the consumption of Zakemi (a harmful local substance in my community).

 

Since drugs are chemicals that affect the body, they have serious side effects which include: weakened immune system, cardiac problems, lung and liver diseases seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage and finally death. Drug abuse has rendered youths - Nigeria’s most significant assets, useless. If this trend continues, Nigeria will end up having drug addicts occupying elective and government administrative positions, which will be of great danger to the social, economic and moral development of the country. The implication of drug abuse especially by Nigerian youths cannot be overemphasized. It’s high time we raise awareness about this problem

 

As a student who has interacted with some of the abusers of drugs, I have noticed that no level of admonition, workshops/seminars, or punishments have helped with curbing this menace. It has been proven that entertainment contributes a lot to influencing young people and we are using that to further our cause. My friends and I have been producing short skits which we upload on Facebook and YouTube with little cost. Our skits help to inform the young generation about the causes and dangerous consequences of drug/substance abuse while being entertaining. We also act out dramas in our school and engage in community outreach to sensitize members of the community, using languages they relate to more and understand.

 

We also print flyers and stickers with attractive and eye-catching pictures to warn against drug abuse. This flyers and stickers are given out to people at parks, schools, bus stops and other busy places. We also involve the drug addicts in projects like craftworks, electrical works etc. This would help to keep them busy.

 

In conclusion, Peter Drucker said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” With support, we can succeed in predicting a future for Nigeria by creating drug-free leaders of tomorrow. Let’s catch them young!

 

An outreach award ceremony was organised to celebrate Siyanbola E. Toluwalase at Government Secondary School in Gwagwalada, Abuja. 

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