Drug abuse by adults and teenagers in Nigeria is becoming a rampant and unfortunate habit to develop. The use of hard drugs is mainly caused by peer pressure, childhood and psychological traumas, sorrow and loss. Sometimes young people are pressured to go under the influence to join cult groups, rob people and commit debauchery. There have been videos of youngsters, male and female, going insane, falling into dirty gutters, misbehaving with hysteria, hallucinating etc., due to these drugs.
During parties or gatherings, young people think drugs must be involved to make the party “fun”. Although it fills the user with ecstasy, it also causes many ailments such as mental instability and addiction. These dangerous substances are sold as cheap as ₦200 (about 55 cents). The regular intake of chemicals can rupture or damage organs, and an overdose can outrightly kill victims. But that doesn’t stop young people from taking the risk.
Some of these drugs are controlled and can only be released and used by doctors’ supervision, but they are sold and peddled in black markets or manufactured secretly.
These drugs are grouped under Opioids, a broad group of pain-relieving drugs that work by interacting with opioid receptors in your cells. They release signals that muffle the perception of pain and boost your feelings of pleasure. Opioids are prescribed for patients dealing with pain but trust the youths or anyone feeling down to abuse.
If you are a parent and want to know the dangerous types of drugs or weeds out there on the street, continue to the list below.
Molly is the street name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). It is referred to be a supposedly pure form of MDMA while reserving the term ecstasy for tablets believed to be made from synthetic substances. Molly is a popular rave drug used to alter mood and perception. People see Molly as a drug that helps them let loose, connect to others, and dance all night, but oblivious that all drugs have side effects.
Sometimes Molly is mixed with other chemicals such as Methylone, MDPV, 4-MEC, 4-MMC, Pentedrone and MePP. It’s a combination of a lot of poison, if you ask me.
Molly can also cause a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, blood vessel constriction and sweating, preventing the body from regulating temperature. These chemical combinations are reported to cause intense, prolonged panic attacks, psychosis and seizures. After they wear off, the chemicals can cause devastating depression. Several of these compounds have also caused deaths.
Codeine can be used solely or combined with other medications to treat pain, cough and is sometimes used in migraine medications. It is not intended for long-term use and treats mild to moderate pain, but it is known to be addictive.
Young people mix Codeine syrup with soft drinks, juice, and even alcohol in an attempt to get high. Codeine pills are also ingested in different ways by their abusers. No matter the mode of ingestion, codeine creates an increased feeling of relaxation, euphoria and a dopamine rush in the brain.
Codeine acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and changes how the body/brain responds to pain. Codeine also decreases activity in the brain, specifically the area that regulates coughing.
Using codeine over a long time can cause headaches, mood swings, shallow breathing, difficulty urinating, memory impairment, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. It can ultimately result in kidney and liver damage and death.
Tramadol is another pain killer used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is also used as a combination therapy with other drugs, but the abusers use it alone.
Tramadol is in two forms. The Immediate-release capsule is released into the body right away. The Extended-release capsule is released into the body slowly over time for around-the-clock pain treatment.
The side effects can cause drowsiness and can affect people differently. Common effects may include nausea and vomiting, constipation, lack of energy, sweating and itching. However, abuse can cause high blood pressure, diarrhoea, hallucinations and coma.
Weeds are of two kinds; the valueless undesirable plants that grow where they are not wanted and those that are valued and deliberately planted for narcotic use. Our concern is on the valuable weed, and they can be used for medicinal and recreational purposes and, of course, abused.
Types of weed
Cannabis sativa, also known as hemp, is a species of the Cannabinaceae family of plants. Cannabis contains the chemical compound THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is believed to be responsible for most of the characteristic psychoactive effects of cannabis that leads to the “high” experienced when cannabis is consumed.
It is also known as Mary Jane, kush, pot, Marijuana, Eja, blaze, ganja, etc. This weed is the most widely used illegal drug and is probably accessible globally.
People who use large quantities of cannabis may become sedated or disoriented and may experience toxic psychosis – not knowing who they are, where they are, or what time it is. High doses may also cause fluctuating emotions, disconnected thoughts, paranoia, panic attacks, hallucinations and feelings of unreality.
Burundanga is the popular name for scopolamine, a drug used in medicine to treat nausea and motion sickness, among other conditions. But its side effects include drowsiness, a loss of inhibition and memory lapses.
It is smoked recreationally for fun but can also knock people out, especially women. It is one of the most common substances used for spiking drinks at parties. It is advisable not to take a drink from a stranger or leave your cup out of sight whenever you are at a party.
“Loud weed” is a slang term used to describe marijuana that is very strong and also has a strong odour. It has nothing to do with sound. This type of weed is described by those who frequently use marijuana as higher quality, and it creates a faster and more potent effect than regular weed.
Skunk, or SK for short, is what some people refer to as the stronger form of Indian hemp because it is a cocktail of weed and some element of cocaine and dried leaves. The drug can be sold N100 a pinch on the streets.
SK is regarded as a drug for the strong and youthful who strive to prove their ‘ruggedness‘. The drug also has a strong side effect on its smokers. It can lead to loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, vision and hearing, sleepiness, reddening of the eyes. Naturally, smoking effects are also induced to users damaging the lungs and heart.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that speeds up messages travelling between the brain and body, very addictive and destructive. It comes from the leaves of the coca bush (Erythroxylum coca), native to South America. The leaf extract is processed to produce three different forms of cocaine:
This is a fine white powder with a bitter, numbing taste. Cocaine hydrochloride is often mixed, or ‘cut’, with other substances such as lidocaine, talcum powder or sugar to dilute it before being sold.
The freebase form is a white powder that is purer than cocaine hydrochloride. This is the popular form of cocaine widely known, used and distributed.
Crack is a form of cocaine that can be smoked. It offers a short but intense high to smokers. It comes in solid blocks or crystals varying in colour from yellow to pale rose or white. Crack is heated and smoked.
It is so named because it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated. Crack is riskier and more potent than regular powder cocaine.
Cocaine can be so addictive and is used mainly by celebrities. The drug grants them an other-worldly feeling to act cool and entertain the crowd, reducing timidity, anxiety and shame. Many great and promising movie actors and musicians have had their lives and careers ruined by this drug, for example, Whitney Houston, Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, etc. However, it is not impossible to make it out through rehab. If you are in this mess, we hope you make it.
Rohypnol is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine with general properties similar to Valium (diazepam). It is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia, as a pre-medication in surgical procedures and inducing anaesthesia. It is also known as ‘Ref, Roche, Roofies, Forget-me pill, Mexican Valium, R2, Roofinol, Rope, and Rope’ on the street.
The drug is popular with youths because of its fast action, and the effect doesn’t wear off in time. It takes effect within 15 to 20 minutes of administration and may persist for more than 12 hours, depending on the amount ingested. Rohypnol is a date rape drug like Burundaga with young men often use at parties; young ladies watch out. It renders victims weak and unable to resist.
Under Rohypnol, individuals experience a slowing of psychomotor performance and loss of muscle control. It tranquillizes the body and decreases agility and blood pressure. It results in amnesia and makes it hard for victims to remember their attackers.
There are numerous names for drugs on the streets; most of them are combinations of three or more kinds of drugs to increase potency. The common names on the streets are Arizona, Skales, King Louis XIII, Gelato, Larry Bird, Gusoro, etc.
The use of hard drugs, abuse of prescription drugs or chemical mixtures is not advised. Young people want to be adventurous, rebellious, bold, fearless, and whatnot, but taking drugs is not the way. If you want to prove that you can be bold and fearless, show us your worth and what you can accomplish with valuable time.
Also, the media and music industry should stop glorifying the use of these drugs. Science students should find the cure to cancer, not the formula for SK or any other ruthless form of hard drug. An article is enough for the wise.
This article is for educational purposes only and does not promote or encourage the use of hard drugs. Drug abuse is dangerous for the users, and it has lasting effects on your loved ones as well.
SAY NO TO DRUG ABUSE!