10.6 million Nigerians abuse cannabis -- Marwa - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, November 25, 2022

10.6 million Nigerians abuse cannabis -- Marwa

By Editor

Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gen. Buba  Marwa, has said that Nigeria is the world's number one cannabis-using country. 

He stated that 10.6 million Nigerians abused cannabis. 

He made the disclosure at the Vanguard Mental Health Summit in Lagos.

Marwa who was represented at the event by ACGN Zonal Commander, NDLEA, Lagos, Dr Segun Oke, said: "I will start my presentation, titled “Growing Problem of Drug and Substance Abuse: The NDLEA Experience” by asking a question. Do we have a growing problem of substance abuse in this country? 

"At the moment, I cannot give you a definite answer other than to say that with what we have learned in the past 22 months, we do have a serious drug abuse problem as a country.

"The severity of the situation was unknown until the 2018 UNODC-supported National Survey on Drug Use and Health was conducted leading to worrisome findings. 

"Before then, the drug use profile of Nigeria was sketchy. The survey gave us facts for the first time and we got to know that Nigeria, as of 2018, had a 14.4 percent drug use prevalence. 

"That was an eye-opener. The statistics may not mean much at face value; only by comparison will the danger become glaring. 

"The average global drug use prevalence was 5.5%; at 14.4%, Nigeria has almost three times the global prevalence. "Without any doubt, the country has a serious substance abuse problem. 

"Secondly, the survey gave us an idea about the pattern of abuse vis-a-vis prevalence and substance type in various regions of the country.  

"The biggest revelation was that 10.6 million Nigerians abused cannabis. Again, this is a mere figure until you begin to figure it out in terms of the human impact. 

"The ramification is that we have a cannabis-using population that is bigger than countries like Portugal and the United Arab Emirates. 

"The implication is that Nigeria is the world’s No. 1 Cannabis-using country, even ahead of countries that have decriminalized the use of the psychoactive plant. Ironically, cannabis use in Nigeria is overwhelmingly for recreational purposes."

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