Dr. Aliyu Abubakar of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, has said that the youths account for about 85 per cent of mad people in Nigeria.
Abubakar made the remark in a paper he presented at a sensitisation workshop for youths organised by Bizara Youth Development Association in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Abubakar said: “According to a recent study, 85 per cent of mad people in Nigeria are youths within the age bracket of 18-38 years.
“The major cause of mental challenge in Nigeria has gone beyond drug-abuse as the youths now inhale lizard faeces, putting their noses into pit toilets, smoking matches, smoking dried horse faeces and mixing lizard faeces with dye powder.
“Drug abuse disorder is a common problem affecting about 5 per cent of the of the world population with an estimated 10.2 per cent in the USA.”
He recalled that in Nigeria, it was recently reported that about three million bottles of cough syrup containing codeine is consumed daily in Kano State and about six million bottles consumed in the North-West.
Abubakar added that in 2016, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency reported that about 40 per cent of Nigerian youths engaged in drug-abuse.
The medical doctor stressed that the consequences of drug-abuse include mental disorder, liver cirrhosis, lethargy and cardiovascular disorder among others.
Abubakar added those abusing drugs mostly drop out of school, engage in cultism, violence, arm-robbery, thuggery, rape, lawlessness, murders and are culturally disorientated.
In his speech, the Chairman, Bizara Youth Development Association, Malam Yahaya Nuhu advised parents to draw their children closer to monitor their movement and those they relate with.
He advised the government to introduce stiffer penalties against drug-dealers, fish them out and punish them accordingly.
Nuhu advised the youths to be cautious of peer group influence and always ensure that they serve as worthy ambassadors of their families and communities.
“Members of the society also have a role to play towards curbing the menace the of drug abuse, especially by monitoring activities of the youths.
“Additionally, community members can advise parents where necessary, and also supply vital information to relevant authorities for prompt action.”