By Cyril Mbah, Abuja
According to the report, the Bureau said that the prevalence of drug use in Nigeria is estimated at 14.4 per cent or 14.3 million people aged between 15 and 64 years. It said that the extent of drug use in Nigeria is comparatively high when matched with the 2016 global annual prevalence of any drug use among the adult population.
“The past year prevalence of psychoactive substances excluding alcohol, overall was higher among men in Nigeria, however the gender difference in the non-medical use of prescription opioids, tranquilizers and cough syrups was less marked.
“Drug use was most common among those who were between the ages of 25 and 39 years, while the rates of past year use were lowest among those who were below 24 years of age. Cannabis was the most commonly used drug followed by opioids, mainly the non-medical use of prescription opioids and cough syrup.”
The Bureau presented its findings on drug use survey as follows: “A dichotomy in the past year prevalence of drug use was found between the North and South geopolitical zones. Highest past-year prevalence of drug use was found in the southern political zones: South-East, South-West, and South-South zones (past year prevalence ranging between 13.8 – 22.4 per cent of the population) compared to the North (ranging between 10 – 14.9 per cent of the population).”
The report lamented the large-scale prevalence of drug abuse after nation-wide survey was conducted to examine the extent and patterns of drug use in Nigeria. “The results of this survey aim to provide the baseline information needed for the design and implementation of effective prevention, treatment and care services that are evidence based and targeted to reduce the demand for drugs and prevent the morbidity and mortality attributable to drug use in Nigeria.
“The results of this survey highlight a considerable level of past-year use of psychoactive substances in Nigeria, in particular the use of cannabis, the non-medical use of prescription opioids (mainly tramadol, and to lesser extent codeine, or morphine) and cough syrups (containing codeine or dextromethorphan).”