Shehu Dankolo, the head of drug reduction unit of the Adamawa state command of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that the banning of substance abuse has led many youths into the use of unconventional stuff for intoxication, The Nation reports. Speaking with newsmen recently on the terrible trend among youths especially in the state, Dankolo explained: “Youths are increasingly using psychoactive substances. They are the substances in vogue now.
“Take for instance formalin, that is embalming oil, the fluid for embalming the dead. That one is sniffed now or orally taken. “Formalin is used legally mostly in hospitals for embalming dead bodies but people have experimented with it and abuse it for mood altering purposes. They put it in a nylon bag and blow and draw on it. “There is rubber solution, otherwise called sholly, the one normally used in patching tyres. They blow and draw on it and it makes them feel on the air, as if they are flying. When you see someone in the street with his two hands up in the air as they walk, they most likely have taken rubber solution and feel they are flying. “Super glue is also now sniffed to get high. Then you have tipex, the substance that women apply on their nails. They sniff it. They also sniff petrol, then kerosine and paint. All these things are called organic solvents or inhailants.” He went on to say that the solvents have worse effects on addicts than the abused pills. Dankolo said: “These inhailants are number one in terms of drug that causes irreversible effects. If you are hooked on it and it damages your brain, there is nothing anyone can do for you. “And people who take such drug are very difficult to manage, they are difficult to rehabilitate. After the counselling and rehabilitation we do here, if they go to school, they won’t understand anything. Organic solvents damage the brain faster and more acutely and in forms that are irreversible.”
On the way forward, Dankolo said the government must identify what leads youths in substance abuse and enact laws to curb the crime.
“Lack of relevant legislation or weakness in enforcing enacted laws encourage the festering of drug abuse.
“Those of them that are legislated upon, like tramadol, codeine, totolin, sodein, marijuana, Indian hemp, diazepharm and all of that, they can be prosecuted, but when it comes to psychoactive substances, there is no legislation to regulate their use and those who use them cannot be prosecuted in court.”
She made the remark at the official flag-off of Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) campaign in Kano state, organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in collaboration with Young Pharmacists Group (YPG) at the Government House, Kano.