The Head, Pharmacy Department, National Hospital, Abuja, Mr Makoshi Yabo, has advised Nigerians to stop the indiscriminate use of drugs to prevent negative health challenges. Yabo gave the advice recently in an interview in Abuja.
He said that drug abuse could lead to drug dependency, which would affect the brain and the body, leading to increased blood pressure.
He defined drug abuse as the “repeated and excessive use of a drug or chemical substance for non- medical purposes.”
Drug abuse, he said, was commonly associated with drug intake for inducing happiness or joyful moods. “Drug abuse is most common among drivers, sex workers, young executives and artists, among others. “However, adolescents and youths of between 15 years to 30 years constitute the high risk group,” the pharmacist said.
He said that stimulants like cocaine and amphetamine excited the body, increased blood pressure, metabolism and reduced ability to sleep.
“Different drugs have different side effects; what most drugs have in common is overstimulation of the pleasure centre of the brain.
“With time, the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful,’’ he said.
Yabo said that those who abuse drugs have greater risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases like Hepatitis and HIV.
He added that intake of heavy drugs could cause lung disease, arthritis, heart problems, brain damage and death from overdose.
According to him, drug abuse could also cause low productivity in the work place, job loss and homelessness.
“The urge to use hard drugs can be so powerful that the urge for criminal activity can be a strong temptation,’’ Yabo said.
Hostility, physical deterioration, memory lapse and short attention span, he said, were some symptoms of drug abuse in a person. (NAN