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Drug Abuse You should ask questions if you find your friends with these 5 substances

Some of these drugs can induce a "zombie"-like state of intoxication that leads to death.

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UN urges Nigeria not to criminalise usage of marijuana play

Nigeria is a major source of West African-grown marijuana, and ranked world's eight highest consumer of the drug

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Drugs are bad, guys. The gradual explosion of the Nigerian drug problem means there are certain substances you might expect to find with your friends and some that will make you ask questions.

As recreational drug use spreads from Abuja to Lagos, consumers are demanding for drugs in a wider range than was previously common.

We could go into why this is the case but it should suffice to say that suppliers are finding a way to meet the demand.

Most of these are substandard, even for illicit drugs, and the health risks associated with them are immense.

play Synthetic marijuana, or 'spice' comes in small colourful packages with the most creative names; 'Scooby Snax', "Black Mamba", "Happy Feet" and more. (The Sun)

 

So, while certain drugs have almost become perfunctory, you should ask your friends some interesting questions if you find them with any of these drugs.

(1) Synthetic Marijuana:

Synthetic marijuana looks everything like the parcel of weed anyone can buy from that pouch-wearing guy at the junction, except it’s not.

ALSO READ: A new deadly form of marijuana is slowly wreaking havoc in Nigeria's cities

As the name suggests, spice, as it is also called, is synthetic. It is made by spraying chemicals that mimic the effect of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, on dried herbs, grass and in some cases, clippings from artificial turfs.

The resultant high is intense and can induce hallucinations, an inability to feel pain and a “zombie”-like state of intoxication. Long-term use can cause convulsions, kidney failure and death.

(2) Tramadol:

We’ve already identified Tramadol as the drug at the centre of Nigeria’s drug problem.

The drug is absurdly cheap and easy to purchase; two factors that have contributed to its abuse. In small doses, it has become one of the most infamous painkillers.

play Tramadol is sold in doses of 50mg, 100mg and 200mg. (Pulse)

 

In large doses, it induces a dreamy state where users become very expressive, hyperactive and lose most, if not all, inhibitions.

Because the body builds up resilience to the drug easily, higher doses are required to get high, increasing the risk of addiction. Reports of doses are becoming more frequent and in some cases, have led to death.

(3) Meth:

Regardless of how invested you are in the drug and party circuits in Nigeria, odds are that you haven’t seen crystal meth before.

Referred to as crystal in drug circles, methamphetamine is a chemical substance prepared mostly for recreational use. It comes in white-sh crystals known as glass, which is injected or smoked in pipes.

ALSO READ: Young people are using Tramadol for sex and having convulsions

Meth use never ends well. The drug creates a very intense high where the user feels very pleasurable, confident and alert. Constant use, however, has a noticeable effect on the body, weakening the skin and darkening teeth.

Chronic users often reach a state called the binge, where the drug ceases to induce the highs it once brought. It often results in a loss of identity and personality that requires rehabilitation.

(4) Crack:

Crack cocaine wrecked havoc in America’s inner cities in the 70s and 80s and there are reports that the drug has made its way here.

Crack is an adulteration of cocaine that is made by cooking the cocaine powder with baking soda into a stiff, off-white block.

ALSO READ: In Nigeria, students first learn about illegal drugs at school

Users either smoke it or inject it into their bloodstream for a sharp, almost-disabling high. The risk of addiction to crack is really high, compared to most recreational drugs.

play Blocks of crack cocaine. (BET)

 

Aside from obvious health risks, it creates a level of dependency where the user’s life revolves around using and getting high, which is when they are referred to as a crack fiend.

(5) Cocaine:

Ah, the infamous white powder that made Pablo Escobar into one of the most infamous criminals in the history of humanity and gave him his own show.

The term “Cocaine” can refer to both the powder and the crystal.

It is extracted, through an elaborate process, from coca leaves. Cocaine was originally developed as a painkiller but has become most known for its recreational use and the crime empires that have been built around it.

play Cocaine is the holy grail of drug trafficking. It is often described as a "rich man's drug". (Owls Nest Recovery Community)

 

Most users sniff it, and the powder is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. It can also be ingested or rubbed into the gums.

To increase the speed at which the drug is absorbed, some users inject it, increasing the risk of having an overdose instead.

Cocaine abuse can be hidden for years if the user has the means to sustain the habit. However, dependency often affects their lifestyle and finances to a large degree.

Constant use can lead to death from respiratory failure, stroke, bleeding in the brain and in certain cases, heart attack.

Children of cocaine-addicted mothers are born as addicts themselves. Most of them suffer birth defects and similar problems.

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