Candy, Date Rape Drug, Forget-Me Pill, Mind Eraser, Eggs, Jellies, French Fries, Z-Bars, Batman, Big Rush, Blow, Charlie, Crack, Dust, Flake, Gringa, Stardust, Stash, Captain Cody, Cody, Speedball – whatever you call it, the truth remains that these are hard substances that can mess with your mind.

There are one thousand and one reasons why people take hard drugs. For some, it is to relax and relieve stress. Some turn to drugs as an escape from the harsh realities of life. Some do it to enhance their strength, performance or creativity. Others do it to stay awake when needed. 

People die from health complications and mental disorders resulting from substance abuse every day. In 2017 alone, 585,000 people died from substance abuse, and 35 million people are projected to suffer from drug addiction. In Nigeria alone, reports show that 14.4% of Nigerians are abusing drugs, far higher than the global average of 5.6% among adults in 2016.

It is worthy of note that drug abuse has evolved from mainstream substances like cannabis, cocaine, diazepam, codeine, amphetamine/dexamphetamine, and cough syrup, as well as Reactivan (fencamfamine), Mandrax, and tramadol, to include concoctions of numerous narcotics, putting abusers in danger of lethal overdose. For example, “gutter water,” a popular drug cocktail, comprises codeine, tramadol, rohypnol, cannabis, and either water or juice. As an alternative, some young adults are turning to simple concoctions such as smoking lizard parts and excrement and sniffing glue, petrol, sewage, and urine.

Social menaces such as organised crime, illegal financial flows, corruption, robbery, cultism, terrorism/insurgency, trafficking, to mention a few, have all been traced to substance abuse.

Against this backdrop, Dodoko Anthony Tamarapreye decided to step up and save as many people as he could from the claws of substance abuse. Anthony is a graduate of the University of Abuja from the Capital city, Abuja. He is passionate about driving change positive change in the lives of people around him.

Anthony launched a No to Pills and Drug Abuse project at Living Faith Church Akenpai, Yenagoa. The project is aimed to educate adolescents, teenagers and secondary school students on the dangers of drug abuse under DO-Take Action. 

The project entailed the following actions;

  • A presentation on the physical and mental health effects of drug and substance abuse Drug Abuse 
  • An interactive Q/A session where participants asked questions on the topic under review and were given informed answers. 

In the course of the project, a minimum of 48 teenagers between the ages of 11-19 years in Junior and Senior secondary schools were informed on the physical and mental health effects of drug and substance abuse. As a result, they pledged to advocate for mental health issues within their community.

Anthony is a regular guy like you and me who took a step to enlighten his community. You, too, can do the same.

If you enjoyed the story and would like to read more stories like this, sign up for our monthly newsletter to get notified of new stories.

Also, do well to follow our social media handles for more engaging and entertaining content on issues that affect YOU.