Illicit Drugs are substances that stimulate or inhibit the central nervous system or cause hallucinogenic effects. Their use has been prohibited globally by law. Examples of these substances are abounding: amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, codeine, and in local areas as the names may obtain – painter, koko miwa, oko etc.
Causes of Prevalence and Use of Illicit Drugs
1. Lack of implementation of regulations on patient medicine dealers.
It has been observed that patent medicine shops spring up at every nook and cranny in rural and urban areas. Many of them spring up without recognition of the regulations guiding the trade. However, the health authorities have not done much to check them. Therefore they sell whatever they like to make money.
2. The advent of GSM with the internet.
Communication is easier with the advent of GSM with the internet and people learn a lot from the internet. The availability of illicit drugs can easily be communicated to the perpetrators by the dealers. Perpetrators always live on the false belief that they can control the influence of illicit drugs. This false belief is referred to as immune delusion syndrome. It is also through the false belief that they have new converts.
3. Development goes with a lot of negative and positive things.
The shift from rural to the urban area goes with the introduction of new things that would affect the area negatively or positively. One example is the proliferation of these hard drugs if they are not strictly checked. Therefore, it is good for the urban areas to embrace the challenge brought about by development.
4. The gap for recognized traditional rulers and town union authorities.
Many communities are in crisis because of traditional rulership tussle. Where there is a gap for a recognized traditional ruler and town union authority, almost everyone became a personal lord to self and those he can control. This has thrown some rural and urban areas into anarchy where anything goes. Indulgence in illicit drugs by the youths may not be an exception.
5. Inadequate Security
Where there is inadequate security network, illicit drugs tends to be common. Criminals are patroniser of most of these illicit drugs. Therefore, adequate security will reduce patronage on illicit drugs
6. Lack of stringent measures and local laws to fight the indulgence
It is discovered that most rural and urban areas lack stringent measures and laws to fight the prevalence of illicit drugs. Even those arrested are being granted bail by their parents and relations. So the perpetrators fear little to make them stop.
Solutions to Combat the Use of Illicit Drugs
1. All rural and urban areas have to seek for good implementation of regulations on patent medicine dealers from the health authorities and police with other security agencies.
2. There must be a robust campaign against the indulgence on illicit drugs by the youths. It will be of help to reduce the number of perpetrators. This will counter the effect of immune delusion syndrome on them, and prevent the would-be converts to join.
3. All urban areas have to rise to the challenges of being urban. They have to embrace all measures to control the ills of society. It is everybody’s responsibilities to report crimes and expose perpetrators.
4. Constituted authorities in rural and urban areas have to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the perpetrators are discovered, arrested, punished. Also, stakeholders collaboration should be geared towards the efforts to stop importation and availability.
5. The vigilante group who is the immediate and door- to- door neighbourhood watch would have to be screened as well. Members of the vigilante that partner with perpetrators has to be flushed out. More so, the good ones have to be trained, supported with money and security equipment, gadgets that would help them to work. They should be encouraged.
6. Town Union in collaboration with Igwe, the Royal Cabinet Council and the Vigilante have to come out with local laws to guide the patent medicine dealers in their localities.