More married women and young girls in Borno State are turning to illicit drugs, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has alerted.
The agency blamed the Boko Haram insurgency for the heightened substance abuse in the state.
According to the state commander of the agency, Joseph Iweajunwa, most women and girls who use drugs like Tramadol and cough syrups with codeine do so for energy enhancement.
He said cough syrups with codeine have become the leading substance of abuse among residents of the state.
Mr. Iweajunwa said Codeine and Tramadol, which are primarily meant to cure cold, also provide repressive effects if excessively ingested.
The commander lamented that many lives had been destroyed by the abuse of drugs in the state.
He said between January and June, 248 suspects were arrested while 336kg of drugs like Cannabis, Tramadol, Diazepam, Exol, Cocaine, Heroin, Rohypnol, as well as cough syrups with codeine, were confiscated from various abusers.
He said the haul and the 6,759kg of drugs confiscated in 2016 were an indication that cases of drug abuse are on the increase in the state.
He listed the “circumstantial factors” behind the situation.
“The major challenges include Boko Haram insurgency which brought in surplus number of military and non-military operatives to this place,” he said.
“The unbridled tension and stress hanging over the whole state pushing people to drugs as a coping mechanism is another factor.
“And the uncontrollable number of IDPs, many of whom have become social miscreants who are using and abusing drugs to cope with their situation.”
Mr. Iweajunwa also cited the availability of many psychoactive and psychotropic substances like Cocaine, Heroin, Cannabis, Tramadol etc as.
He said Tramadol and cough syrup with codeine “are mostly abused by young boys and girls and some married women too”.
Despite the gloomy situation, the commander said the agency is faced by gross lack of funds to prosecute the war against drugs abuse.
“The funding of NDLEA as the agency with core responsibility of tackling this problem could be best described as embarrassing,” he said.
He said for the war to be won, “all hands must be on deck; it is not a war to be left to the NDLEA or the government alone.”