On one crisp morning in October 2016, I visited the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, to say hello to a nurse friend who works in the facility
Not quite long after settling down to chat with my friend in his ofﬁce, a ﬂashy grey SUV zoomed into the facility’s park. In a jiffy, two hefty men in shorts hurriedly opened the backdoor and practically forced out a young, cool young man who was perhaps in his early 20s. He had pierced his body with a blade and knife. A small tattoo could also be noticed on his left arm. He was pitiful to behold; his speech was incoherent, even though he spoke ﬂuent English. He was well-dressed and if not for the fact that his words were illogical, one would probably take him for a young and successful young man going by his looks. I would later learn that he was an undergraduate in one of the famous faith-based private universities in the country
My nurse friend would later tell me that the boy was suffering from mental ill health as a result of the intake of drugs such as codeine, Ritalin and Tramadol, among others. His condition had become critical and he would spend some weeks, or maybe months, in the mental health facility, until he recovered.
I never followed up on the young man’s case, but my nurse friend told me it was not a strange case they had witnessed. There are unbelievably hundreds of undergraduates in the facility and several others across the country who have found hard drugs – from marijuana to cocaine to codeine to Tramadol and others
The statistics indicated that those involved in drug abuse were between 15 and 64 years old and that one of out every four of them was a woman. The ﬁgure also showed that the rate of drug abuse by Nigerians was more than twice the global average of 5.3 per cent.
At a 2018 symposium, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, noted that drug abuse was caused by many factors, including love of money, disobedience to laws, proliferation of the market with individuals who sell medicines, lack of control of dispensing, weakness in regulation, and porous borders, among others
The symposium had been organized following a documentary aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation which showed a very disturbing use of codeine among Nigerian youths
Although the agency eventually banned the sale of the drug, it is believed to have since found its way again among the teenagers and youths for continuous consumption
As drugs and its ‘complement’ – alcohol – continue to be big issues, not only in Nigeria but globally, we as Christians must be careful not to get ourselves involved in their consumption. They are surely not a good choice for anyone, let alone believers.
Ephesians 5:18 tells us, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be ﬁlled with the Holy Spirit and constantly
Proverbs 23:29-35 also tells us about the consequences of ﬁlling ourselves with alcohol and drugs, rather than with the Holy Spirit. Similar warnings can be found in Isaiah 5:11-12, 22; Galatians 5:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 10:13.
God knows why He is warning us to desist from indulging ourselves in such a habit, and it is because if we ﬁll ourselves with those things, the Holy Ghost cannot dwell in us. But if we refrain ourselves from consuming such, we will be ﬁlled with the Holy Ghost. Which would you rather prefer to be ﬁlled with?
If you have been indulging in the habit, now is the time to refrain from it. You can’t afford to have the devil destroying your life again. It is never too late if you quit
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