ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF DRUG/SUBSTANCES ABUSE IN NIGERIA – PART3

General Respondents Knowledge on Drug/Substance Abuses Prevalence in Nigeria

Responses on Taking the Drugs/Substance of Abuse

The first question in the series reads thus: do you take any illicit drug or substances of addiction?

In reply to the above question, out of total 388 respondents, 374 (96.39%) responded in affirmative that they are currently addicted to taking one or more drug/substance while only 14 others (3.61%) stated that they were once engaged in the act but are no longer into it as at the time of the survey.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 374 96.39
No 14 3.61
Total 388 100

Responses on Initiating Factor(s) That Influence Starting Using Drug/Substance

On the reasons for starting using the addicted drug/substance, majority of the respondents (approximately 65%) combined two or more responses as factors that made an influence on them. About 35% gave sole response of either “peer pressure”, “psychological problems like depression, frustration, insomnia, etc.”, or “easy accessibility and availability of the substances with means of purchase” as their initiating factor.

In addition, about 14 respondents selected “others” as their choice for starting, with specific reasons like “curiosity”, “to impress during a casual party” and “just to have fun.” However, the addicts opined that “mass media adverts” and “school failures” were very less influential to them as expressed by 2.06% and 3.35% respectively. The results on the overall responses to the various statements are summarized in the table 12 below:

Table 12: Responses on initiating factor(s) that influence starting using the drug/substance

Initiating Factor Variables Frequency  Percentage (%)
Peer pressure 98 25.26
Psychological problems 79 20.36
School Failures 13 3.35
Mass Media Adverts 08 2.06
Self-Medication 45 11.60
Easy Accessibility & Availability of the substances 84 21.65
Others(Specify) 61 15.72
Total 388 100

Response on the Types of Drug/Substances Started with.

According to the obtained data, cough syrups were the most likely (21.13%) the initial drug abused in totality. Tobacco came second (18.81%), then marijuana/cannabis (‘ganyen wee-wee’ in local parlance, about 13.40%). Tramadol is next (12.90%). There are 7.22% of Heroin addicts in the surveyed. Alcohol was found to be the least starting substance by the addicts and all the respondents that started it were identified as adults. There are no reports of females started with marijuana/cannabis or tramadol.

Types of substances Started with Frequency  Percentage (%)
Alcohol 17 4.38
Cough syrups (Codeine) 82 21.13
Marijuana/Cannabis 52 13.40
Heroin 28 7.22
Tramadol 50 12.90
Tobacco 73 18.81
Others(Specify) 86 22.16
Total 388 100

Response on the Types of Drug/Substances Currently Abused

As cough-syrups were reported the most likely (21.13%) the initial drug abused, it also take the lead (43.11%) in terms of drugs/substances currently been abused by majority of the addicts. A significant number (15.21%) of them are currently abusing marijuana the most. Heroin and Tramadol rate of abuse has also increased slightly higher from 7.22% and 12.90 to 10.31% 13.40 respectively. In contrast, the abuse of tobacco at the moment has partially reduced from initial usage of 18.81% to 16.24%.

Marijuana and cough-syrup abuse was significantly more likely among younger drug abusers than among older ones.

Types of substances Started with Frequency  Percentage (%)
Alcohol 28 7.22
Cough syrups (Codeine) 112 28.86
Marijuana/Cannabis 59 15.21
Heroin 20 10.31
Tramadol 72 18.56
Tobacco 63 16.24
Others(Specify) 34 8.76
Total 388 100

Response on the Supposed Benefits Gained by the Addicts as a result of taking the Drug/Substances.

When a question, “what benefit do you think you gain from taking such drugs/substances?” was posed to the addicts, about one quarter of them chose two or more options as their answers. The remaining ones selected only one option. The table below give depiction of the responses:

Variables of Assumed Benefits gained from the substances Frequency  Percentage (%)
To overcome psychological problems/stress 90 23.20
To keep you awake so as to study well in school 11 2.84
To gain strength in order to exert more power in doing work 93 23.96
To feel among friends 40 10.31
To conform with society’s perception 5 1.29
To be able to sleep well 63 16.24
Others(Specify) 86 22.16
Total 388 100

The findings indicated that “to overcome psychological problems/stress” and “to gain much strength in order to exert more power in doing work” were the leading reasons provided by the addicts as benefits they drive from taking the drug/substance they are addicted. However, “to conform to society’s perception” was found to be the least reason, and hence it can be assumed that such society abhors substance abuse. Similarly, to be awake so as to read well in school is also very less reason as benefits gained, which explained the peculiarity of the people as majority were not in studying in schools.

Response on Source of Money to Purchase the Substances

As indicated under the employment status of the respondents, about 25.51% of them were jobless, while about 22.94% were working as public servants or running business; the remaining ones comprises of students and those that chose “others”.

In reply to how they source money for the purchase of such drugs/substances, about 9.79% stated that it is their personal savings they use. 10.57% said they were getting money from their family members and relatives as gift token. Those that indicated business earnings as their source of incomes were 15.21%, borrowing/loan constituted 14.43%, while 15.98% admitted to generating the money through resorting to illegal means stealing, burglary, engaging in thuggery, etc. Gender-wise, males are most likely to be engaged in such vices, while female respondents claimed to source the money they used to purchase such drugs/substances from gift token from boyfriends and prostitution

Earnings from hard labour carried only 9.28%. The remaining respondents (24.74%) indicated others. Some females mentioned “free gift from boyfriends” and “prostitution” as last resort (other means) of getting their money to purchase the “stuff”.

Sources of Income to Purchase the /Drugs/Substances Frequency  Percentage (%)
Personal savings 38 9.79
Gift 41 10.57
Business earnings 59 15.21
Borrowing/loan 56 14.43
Any illegal means of getting money e.g. stealing, etc. 62 15.98
Earnings from hard labour 36 9.28
Others(Specified) 96 24.74
Total 388 100

Response on How Long into Taking the Drug/Substances

On number of years or months spent indulging in the substances, some addicts (14.18%) stated less than a year, majority of them (22.42%) indicated one year. Two years of consumption was recorded from 16.24% of the addicts, a period of 3 years was mentioned by 9.79%, some (9.02) reported 4 years and 5 years was chosen by 13.92%. On average, the abusers had abused the drug/substances for 3.7 years.

Duration of Addiction Frequency  Percentage (%)
Less than a year (e.g. Six months) 55 14.18
One year 87 22.42
Two years 63 16.24
Three years 38 9.79
Four years 35 9.02
Five years 54 13.92
Others(Specify) 56 14.43
Total 388 100

Response on Frequency of Taking the Substances

On how frequent the addicts take the substances, an open question with blank space was provided to fill. Majority of the addicts responded with different figures as what they consumed on daily, weekly and monthly basis. The variations in figures depend squarely on the type of the substances and severity of addiction by the respondents. Accordingly, about one third confessed to take too much on average scale compared to other addicts encountered.

Some sampled responses in this regard include: two (2) times per day, once in a week, twice in a month, etc.

Response on Effects of the Drugs/Substances on the Addicts

The aftermath experiences of the drug/substances been taken by addicts have various ome respondents

Effects Experienced due to Addiction of Drug/substance Frequency  Percentage (%)
Anxiety 98  
Fever/Headache 79  
Loss of Appetite 13  
Nausea/Vomiting 08  
Nervousness 45  
Tiredness 84  
Others(Specify) 61  
Total 388  

Response on Mode of intake of the substances

According about a quarter (25.52%) of the respondents, the mode of taking their drug/substance of abuse was ingestion/swallowing. This gives further clarity that cough syrups were widely consumed in the area more than any other substance. 14.18% mentioned smoking (implying marijuana, cigarette, etc) as their mode of intake while only 6.96% indicated sniffing/inhaling as their method of intake. Injection (with syringe, needle or any other pointed sharp objects) constituted only 5.93% while drinking has 13.14%. Chewing recorded 12.37%, on the other hand, others constituted about 21.91% (most likely to be kolanut and the likes). The table below summarized these findings:

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Ingestion/Swallowing 99 25.52
Smoking 55 14.18
Sniffing/Inhaling 27 6.96
Injection 23 5.93
Drinking 51 13.14
Chewing 48 12.37
Others 85 21.91
Total 388 100

Response on Negative Action Ever Encountered/Performed

On the issue of any negative action performed or problem ever encountered by the respondents owing to their addiction, 14.95% mentioned theft/stealing as what they had engaged in as a result of their addiction attitude. Very few (4.38%) selected ‘school dropping out’ as their negative action. 5.67% mentioned ‘strained relationship with loved ones’ as their point of regret in life. 6.70% (most likely to be females) indicated ‘prostitution’ while 20.10% confessed to engaged in political thuggery, fighting, among other social vices. A small number mentioned ‘contracting other diseases as the negative consequence they had encountered in their lives while the largest percent (44.33%) indicated others.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Theft/Stealing 58 14.95
School Dropping Out 17 4.38
Strained Relationship with Loved Ones 22 5.67
Prostitution 26 6.70
Engaging in Social Vices like Thuggery, fighting, etc. 78 20.10
Contracting other Diseases 15 3.87
Others 172 44.33
Total 388 100

Response on Ever Being Tired and Quitting Attempt

When asked if the addicts had ever got tired of taking the drugs/substance of addiction and attempted to quit, about 67.53% gave positive answers “Yes”. Some of them had tried for self-detoxification, while others had passed home based supervised treatment where they were confined indoors by their parents/guardians, but none reported to had ever gone to any treatment centre. This indicates lack of drug addiction treatment centre, facilities and services in the areas. When asked, “Why they relapsed (started again)?” Some said to avoid “medical complications they experienced,” while others said, “To avoid” and peer influence.

The rest of the respondents (32.47%) stated that they had never got tired and attempted to quit drug/substance abuse.

Table on Response of Being tired and Quitting Attempt

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 262 67.53
No 126 32.47
Total 388 100

Response on Usual Amount of Money Spend in Purchasing the Substances

This question is opened-ended one, designed to estimate and elicit the amount of money usually spent by the addicts in purchasing the substances they were addicted to. In the space provided, some respondents wrote N1, 500 per bottle of cough syrup, some mentioned N500 daily, some spent 1,200 etc. These amounts depend on the type of the substance, its ease of accessibility and availability within the vicinity.

Response on Whether Somebody So Close to the Addicts Ever Reprimanded Them

Many (46.13%) responded in affirmative that some of their close relatives and acquaintances had reprimanded them on their attitude of drug/substance abuse while majority chose “No.” Those that admitted to have been reprimanded mentioned parents, school teachers, and elders of the community, among people that admonished them on the dangers associated with the abuse.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 179 46.13
No 209 53.87
Total 388 100

Response on Experiencing Any Form of Stigmatization or Discrimination

Majority of the respondents (73.71%) expressed displeasure that owing to them being addicts, they have being highly stigmatized and discriminated by even people that are closely related to them as well as the law enforcement agents and the public health providers. They complained about people’s attitude towards them because, according them, they were treated as outcasts and criminals rather than helpless human beings that are sick and need treatment. This is serious because the feeling of being marginalised was compounded by some inferiority complex and hence potentials of being productive ones in the society are overshadowed.

The remaining 26.29% admitted not had ever encountered any form of stigmatization or discrimination from anyone.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 286 73.71
No 102 26.29
Total 388 100

Response on Perception of the Addicts on Whether a Habit of Drug Taking Has Detrimental Effects on their Wellbeing

A substantial number of the addict respondents (55.15%) stated positively that they are aware of many detrimental effects of the drug/substances they are taking. The remaining ones (44.85%) dismissed the notion it has no any detrimental effects of the substances they are taking on their physical and psychological well-being. They gave different reasons like: “It boost my strength and drive away every pain in my body,” “I don’t take it too much to an extent of losing my senses,” “I have been using this substance for more than 15 years and nothing bad has ever happened to me.”

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 214 55.15
No 174 44.85
Total 388 100

Response on Awareness of any Rehabilitation Programme

On being aware of any rehabilitation programme, very few (4.64%) responded in affirmative that they had heard of rehabilitation programmes. In contrast, majority mentioned to be unaware of any existing rehabilitation programme. This implied that the area under survey lack basic rehabilitation units and services and therefore need such programmes urgently.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 18 4.64
No 370 95.36
Total 388 100

Response on Whether the Addicts Had Ever Undergone Counselling

The findings from this question revealed that majority (93.81%) had not undergone any counselling advice ever since they began indulgence in drug/substance abuse. Only 6.19% gave opposing views whereby nearly half of them mentioned NDLEA as the organisation that offered them when they were arrested in relation to the abuses (in custody). The rest mentioned schools as place they got counselling lectures against dangers of drug/substance abuse.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 24 6.19
No 364 93.81
Total 388 100

Response on Ever Being Arrested/Convicted in Relation to Drug/Substance Abuse

More than half (73.97%) of the respondents mentioned that they were arrested once or more times and even convicted in connection to drug/substances abuse. Some of them stated that they had committed some offences as a result and served jail terms. However, 26.03 said they were never being arrested or convicted because of their addiction attitude.

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 101 26.03
No 287 73.97
Total 388 100

Response on What to Feel When One’s Dear Person Start Taking Drug/Substance of Abuse

According significant number (29.90%) of the respondents, they will feel bad and unhappy when any of their dear ones, for instance, parents, siblings, offspring and other relatives, start indulgence in drug/substance abuse. Few among them claimed to be unperturbed while the view of the majority was uncertain as they mentioned. The table below depicts the divergent views by the respondents on this question:

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Bad 116 29.90
Normal 53 13.66
Not Sure 219 56.44
Total 388 100

Response on Any Word of Advice to People Not into Drugs Abuse Yet

On whether the respondents have any word of advice to people that are yet indulge themselves in drug/substance abuse, about one third of them (36.86%) answered ‘Yes’ and gave some simple pieces of  advice like, “Don’t start!” The remaining ones declined to give any advice as shown by the following table:

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 143 36.86
No 245 63.14
Total 388 100

Response on Any Other Drug/Substance Likely to be Abused but Remains Unknown

In reply to any knowledge on drug/substance that is being abused but government policy-makers and general public are not aware of, some 19.59% of the respondents gave positive responses. A certain respondent stated that, “Now that opiate cough syrup is very expensive to be afforded and it is difficult to get, we take ordinary paracetamol tablet the first thing in the morning, it would make you fly in the sky.” Another one said, “Top Bond is the answer.”

Others responded simply with ‘No.’

Variables Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 76 19.59
No 312 80.41
Total 388 100

SITUATION ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF DRUG/SUBSTANCES ABUSE IN NIGERIA – PART 2

Respondents by Marital Status

Most of the Respondents, about (29.38%), were unmarried (singles).While significant number of them (26.03%) were divorced/separated and not remarried. Similarly, about 18.56% are said to be married to their spouses. In addition, widows carried 11.86% while those that claimed to be engaged constituted 3.35%, with remaining response as others indicating 10.82%.

The findings here showed that unmarried (singles having 29.38%) individuals are most likely to be indulged in drug/substance abuse when compared with their married (18.56%) counterpart. This is most likely due to the fact that singles lack partners that could help in stabilizing their mood swings due to psychological disorders. The trend is followed by divorced ones (26.38%) before married couples. The next in the order is widows (11.86%) and those that fall under “Others”. Finally, only 3.35% claimed to be engaged (arranged to be married).

Table 5: Response on Marital Status of the Drug/Substance Abusers.

Marital Status Frequency Percentage
Married 72 18.56
Single/Unmarried 114 29.38
Divorced/Separated 101 26.03
Widowed 46 11.86
Engaged 13 3.35
Others 42 10.82
Total 388 100

Respondents by Level of Education/Academic Qualifications Attained

In terms of level of education of the drug/substance abusers, the findings of the survey shows that 18.30% of the total addicts do not possess any academic qualification and therefore illiterates, according to formal education settings. 24.23% mentioned Primary Schools as the only educational level they have attained while 15.21% submitted to have sat for Junior Secondary School (J.S.S.) examinations. Those with Senior Secondary Leaving Certificates (SSCE) carried 16.24% while only admitted to have proceeded further to tertiary institutions (e.g. College of Education, Polytechnics, College of Health Sciences or University). Additionally, 3.35% submitted that they obtained ‘Adult Education’. However, about 15.46% stated that they have undergone informal education (Islamic schools like “Tsangaya” schools or Islamiyya) which fit under “Others” option provided.

It can be deduced from the given figures here that, on average, there is high rate of illiteracy which can also be correlated to high rate of the drug/substance use, abuse and misuse among the population of the communities. Since only few of the addicts have educational qualifications above secondary schools level, it illustrates that lack of adequate awareness regarding the hazards associated with drugs/substances is a contributing factor.

Educational Qualifications Frequency Percentage (%)
None 71 18.30
Primary 94 24.23
Junior Secondary 59 15.21
Senior Secondary 63 16.24
Post Secondary 28 7.22
Adult Education 13 3.35
Others 60 15.46
Total 388 100

From this data, it can be inferred that there is high rate of illiteracy which can be correlated to increasing trend among the drug users. It also illustrated there is lack of awareness regarding the hazards associated with the act. In contrast, 28 (7.22%) were identified to possess post-secondary qualifications, therefore assumed to have some level of education and exposure, but end up among the ones to be abusing substances. In the end, it can be inferred that there are secondary factors influencing them to indulge in the abuse of the substances.

Respondents by Employment Status

Among all the drug addict respondents, 25.51% were found to be jobless (unemployed), and only 5 (1.29%) were employers; quite likely to be running their own private businesses and employing others.

10.05% respondents admitted to be employees for others. Similarly, about 11.60% stated that they were self-employed while 27.32% mentioned they were students (of both ordinary and advanced level) and mostly tend to be younger respondents as compared to older ones.

Employment Status Frequency Percentage
Employer 5 1.29
Employee 39 10.05
Self-Employed 45 11.60
Unemployed 99 25.51
Student 106 27.32
Others 94 24.23
Total 388 100

The data above depicts the alarming rate of unemployment among the generality of population in the area.

Response on Types of Occupation by the Respondents

Although this question is exclusively reserved for those that claimed to have something doing to earn a living, it was posed to crosscheck the actual occupation engaged by the respondents. When analysed, it was found out that it received a response bit higher than number expected i.e. 183 (5 for employers + 39 for employees + 45 for self-employed + 94 for others).

Occupation Frequency Percentage
No Response 151 38.92
Manager/Administrator 2 0.52
Professional 16 4.12
Public Servant 58 14.95
Service Provider Worker 10 2.58
Crafts-person 36 9.28
Shop Sales Worker 17 4.38
Others 98 25.26
Total 388 100

What can be inferred from the data from the table above is that, public servants topped the list of those that have jobs, closely followed by crafts men and women (if any), then Shop Sales workers and professionals. Others constituted the largest proportion of the respondents aside no response. Considering the number of ‘no response’, it can be assumed that rate of unemployment is alarming and hence poverty is pervasive.

Response on Whom Respondents Live With

When asked to mention whom the respondents live with, it was found that, a substantial proportion (21.65%) live with guardians little above those (20.10%) whom stay with friends before those ones (12.11%) that mentioned to live with their parents. This raises a serious concern of their welfare and discipline. Another shocking revelation is the percentages of respondents living with siblings; although small (7.47%), but it is significant because it put a question to the parents’ whereabouts. Others constituted 23.20%, which means they do not stay with any of the stated option, while those that live with marital partners/spouses are only 55 in number (14.18%).  However, the number did not tally with 72 (18.56%) respondents that claimed to be married (as earlier explained), which also raises the question of their spouses whereabouts.

Only 5 (1.29%) respondents were said to be living with their offspring, and they are most likely to be older respondents and with no spouses.

Table 9: Response on Whom Respondents Live With.

Whom Respondents Live With Frequency Percentage
Parent(s) 47 12.11
Spouse/Partner 55 14.18
Guardians 84 21.65
Siblings 29 7.47
Offspring 5 1.29
Friend/Colleagues 78 20.10
Others 90 23.20
Total 388 100

SITUATION ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF DRUG/SUBSTANCES ABUSE IN NIGERIA – PART 1

Respondents by Age Group of the Drug Users

In an attempt to inquire about relationship between age group and indulgence in taking illicit drug/substances, the data obtained from the study showed that 24.74% of the respondents are young people of 21-25 years; followed by 26-30 age group having 22.42%; then 31-35 age group (16.95%); then 16-20 (15.21%); then 36-40(14.95%); while others carries 4.38% and finally younger age group of 10-15 indicated 2.06%.

Interestingly, what is deduced from the figures is that young people aged 21-25 (24.74%) seem to be the ones indulging most in the abuse of drugs/substances and they were closely followed by 26-30 age group (22.42%) and then 31-35(16.25%). However, the trend changed because it declines with increasing age groups and then later rises. This indicates that youths at their prime age tend to be more involved in drugs/substance’s abuse than their older counterparts. In the same vein, it can be inferred that the issue of drug/substance is not only limited to a certain age group specifically; however it is likely most common among some groups. The table below summarized these findings:

Table 1: Response of Age Group of the Drug Users

Age Group(Years) Frequency Percentage (%)
10 – 15 08 02.06
16 – 20 59 15.21
21 – 25 96 24.74
26 – 30 87 22.42
31 – 35 63 16.24
36 – 40 58 14.95
Others 17 04.38
Total 388 100

Respondents by Gender Distribution

In terms of gender distribution, male drug addicts carried 72.68% (282 totals) as compared to 27.32% (106) females. This can be attributed partly to tendencies of males to be more exposed to the contributing factors, and partly due to difficulty in easy identification and getting access to the females because they are mostly indoors in the surveyed areas. In any case, the prevalence of drug/substances abuse is higher among males than females.

Tackling the Menace of Drug Abuse Among Young People

Drug abuse among the youth has become an epidemic of massive proportion in the country. The problem affects both males and females, including young women in their marital homes. Drug abuse has therefore caused increased social discontents in many northern communities such as societal crimes and unrest, armed robbery, small time stealing, sexual abuse, school cultism and soon. At family and individual levels, drug abuse in the Country has caused significant damages. These include high rates of school dropouts, high divorce rates, general unhappiness in the family and in a lot of cases inability to gain or maintain a steady job, and in extreme cases madness.  

The central problem of drug abuse in the Country is caused by the high availability of and easy access to the illicit drugs by the youth; the general idleness in the Country occasioned by poverty, lack of jobs as well as a culture that tolerates redundancy among its populace.

The widespread availability of illicit drugs in Nigeria generally and in the northern part of the country, is caused by many factors. The large number of drug shops that sell legalized drugs that contain the active ingredients and the failure to control it due largely to the general laxity of our laws, law enforcement agencies and failure of the public to support law enforcement activities ensures drugs are readily available to people who want to use them. On the user’s side, ample idle time often in combination with excess free cash and peer pressure pushes a normal but vulnerable and ignorant youth to start experimenting with the drugs. Over time, he/she gets hooked, addicted and at the mercy of drug suppliers.    

Several efforts by government and other well-meaning individuals to stem the tide of drug abuse have not translated into meaningful successes largely because a combination of misfortunes. Although our laws are not stringent enough to tackle the problem in its entirety, the widespread corruption among law enforcement agencies has ensured that existing laws are not effective. Many cases of collusion between illicit drug suppliers and law enforcement agencies have been observed by stakeholders. In addition, the few rehabilitation centers that both government and ono-governmental organizations have established and are running, have turned out to complicate matters even when they address a portion of it. Many ‘rehabilitated’ youths come out with gory news of abuse, lack of care and being hardened inside due to getting in contact with more experienced drug abusers and criminals. Clearly the rehab centers are not functioning well because of the myriad of financial and management challenges that they face daily.

The AFPDA plans to tackle aspect of these problems in a wholistic way to contribute to the fight against this menace.

Goal and Objectives:

 The main goal of this initiative is to contribute to stemming the tide of drug abuse among youth in northern Nigerian cities.

Specifically, the project will achieve the following results within three years of its startup:

  1. Create awareness of drug abuse among parents
  2. Build capacity of teachers to identify tell-tale signs of drug abuse among students
  3. Reduce access to drugs by working with Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to ensure effective control efforts
  4. Advocate for more appropriate legislation to fight the menace of drug abuse in the country.

Activities:

  1. Creating Awareness Among Parents

In many cases, drug problem among youth starts when youth are at home with ample time to be with friends and access to excess spending cash. At certain ages, young people are vulnerable to peer pressure from (often older) friends. A little more awareness from parents could stem the tide. More importantly however, when parents are made aware that engaging youth in some useful ventures to occupy their time and being more observant with youths’ behavior could avoid the problem, they would be very active and successful in preventing drug abuse.

The AFPDA plans to create awareness with and among parents through the following activities:

  1. Mass Media Activities: There will be messages and jingles that would be aired through both Radio and Television channels throughout our catchment areas. The messages will highlight the problem, identify it’s causes and suggest what parents could do to identify and prevent drug abuse among their children/wards. Parents both in rural and urban areas will be targeted with specific messages. The messages will be broadcasted regularly, such as daily, depending on the cost and availability of funds. Efforts will be made to get discount and/or collaborate with media stations to conduct these activities at affordable rates.
    1. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Materials: specific awareness messages and information will also be transmitted through the billboards, posters and handbills targeted at those that can read. Such information is important for creating awareness, providing ‘call to action’ guidance and generating discussion among the public.
    1. Campaigns and Outreaches at Special Occasions: Places such as Parent Teachers’ Associations’ (PTA) meetings, ceremonies and other events provide good avenues to reach parents with more in-depth guidance and information about drug abuse. Trained communicators will be used to deliver lectures at these special events. In addition, the opportunities provided by special days such as Drug Awareness, World Health and World Youth days will be used to conduct campaigns and rallies to raise awareness on this important issue.   
  2. Capacity Building of Teachers

The school community provides the next best opportunity to prevent drug abuse among use since it is an environment where young people freely intermingle with their peers and with their teachers. If teachers are given certain technical capacity to identify risky and/or indicative behaviors, they can be very important assets to prevent and/or nip the problem in the bud. AFDA will build teachers’ capacities to understand the issue, identify behaviors and counsel young people against drug abuse. The following activities would be conducted to achieve capacity building of teachers:

  1. Workshop on Drug Abuse: The AFPDA will identify experts in the field of drug abuse prevention and mitigation to conduct regular capacity building workshops for teachers from selected partner schools. Workshop would be typically one-week long and will be delivered using different methodologies to ensure skills are transferred. About 25-30 teachers will be trained at every event, which would be done on a quarterly basis.  Efforts will also be put to ensure follow-up of trained teachers through specific arrangement with their respective states.
    1. Curriculum review: We will work with school authorities, curriculum development experts and trained teachers to create a special training curriculum that can be used by schools to train children to develop understanding of and to resist drug abuse.
    1. Establish School-based Drug Abuse Clubs: these clubs would be very important avenues to reach youth, including those that have already started using drugs. Through edutainment, young people’s awareness to this menace could be effectively raised. In addition, knowledge could be raised and skills on self-esteem could be transferred through formal training workshop. Youth leadership training is very important in building self-esteem and the organization will identify NGOs that provide such training free of charge.
    1. Drug Test: there is also a plan to institute simple drug test in schools in collaboration with partner schools. The test would be administered to suspected youths under getting consent from and in collaboration with relevant parents. The tests will be deployed in partnership with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
  2. Support LEA to improve effectiveness of law enforcement

Despite the existence of an agency (the NDLEA) established specifically to tackle the problem of illicit drug trade and use, the problem kept on soaring. There are many reasons why this very important agency seems ineffective. Two of these reasons include incessant corruption and the public’s aloofness and unwillingness to support the agency with information to track drug dealers and users. The AFPDA plans to improve these two problems through the following activities:

  1. Establish community drug committees: Community Drug Committees (CDC) have very important roles to play in ensuring law enforcement is done effectively. They serve as citizen voices to ensure the right things are done, they support the LEOs by providing important information on illicit drug activities in their various communities and they disseminate awareness information within the communities. By working directly with the Nigeria Police and NDLEA, the CDCs can serve as important partners to ensure resolution of difficulties being experienced by LEOs in their day-to-day activities. 
    1. Recognize Gallant Law Enforcement Officers (LEAs): in addition to working through the CDCs, the AFPDA will establish an annual award ceremony to recognize LEOs and other individuals that play significant role in efforts to stem the tide of drug abuse. Important leaders, both political and traditional will be invited to grace the award occasions and charitable organizations and individuals will be encouraged to support the awards by providing prizes and other accolades. Media houses would also be important to carry the news and thereby increasing the reach and recognition of the awards.
  2. Advocacy for more appropriate legislation

Despite having several laws and agencies that aim to tackle drug abuse, it is generally agreed among stakeholders that the laws are too lax to be efficient in curbing the problem. The AFPDA will work with relevant legislative and executive leaders both at state and federal levels to change the policies, especially the punishment for drug dealers and pushers. Several advocacy visits will be arranged and conducted in collaboration with other civil society organizations (CSOs). Visits will be made to the Houses of Assemblies and the offices of the governors, the NDELA chairmen and other officers as well relevant police officers.

Program Management

Startup Activities: The project will start with a situation analysis to understand the real issues and to plan the activities in greater detail than articulated in the proposal. There will then be a startup meeting with all important key stakeholders to announce the beginning of the project, get government buy-in right from the onset and share the reports of the initial situation analysis.

Project Personnel: The AFPDA will engage a Program Officer (PO) that will be responsible for managing the project. He/she will be leading weekly planning and all other technical and administrative meetings. He will be responsible for managing the budget and providing monthly reports of the project activities to the President of AFPDA.

A Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer will be responsible for keeping records of achievements of the project including the number of people reached, trained, advocated to and collaborated with. Records of people reached with information and/or communication activities will also be estimated and kept for reports by the M & E Officer.

 A Finance and Administrative Officer (FAO) will be responsible for financial management and accounting records. Details of transactions will be kept and made available to donors and other contributors at request.

Monitoring and Evaluation: This effort will be closely monitored to ensure learning and coarse correction of whatever is not working. The M&E Officer will be responsible for keeping the records and making any needed analysis for planning and re-planning.

Monthly reports will be written and submitted to the president of AFPDA and any donor interested in the reports. In addition, a quarterly report that summarizes the monthly reports and distill learning and challenges will be drafted and reported to the Board of Directors (BoD). This report will also contain recommendations for further adjustments to be made by the BoD.

Budget

See attached

Illustrative Chronogram