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The report on the first -ever National Survey on Drug Use in Nigeria , which was presented by the Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja , has shown that 14 .3 million people , representing approximately 14 .4 per cent of the country ’s population ( between age 15 and 64 ) , abused drug substances in the past one year .
The project, which was supported by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime , and the European Union , was carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics and Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse as part of a large- scale project being implemented in Nigeria under the 10 th European Development Fund Modality .
According to the survey , 10 .6 million Nigerians abused cannabis in 2018 while 4 .6 million abused opiods . The report said that 2 .4 million youths and adults also abused cough syrups with 92 , 000 more using cocaine . Other drugs commonly abused during the period are tranquilizers and sedatives, solvent , inhalers, amphetamines and prescription stimulants .
The survey said that the prevalence of the menace was more pronounced in the South -West geo -political zone with 22 . 4 per cent or 4. 3 million users . Oyo and Lagos states lead in the zone. The South- South came second in the list , while the South- East , with 1.55 million users , came third . The North – Central , with 10 per cent or 1 .5 million users , was ranked lowest.
The Director , Department for Operations at UNODC, Miwa Kato , stated at the occasion that the survey illustrated the problem of drug use and dependence in Nigeria , as well as the lack of services to address the issues . She added that the report was also staggering .
She said , “I believe the findings of the survey will be a wake -up call for us and international actors involved in the drug response that the problem is serious and the business- as -usual approach will not work to address this growing threat to Nigeria ’s well- being and stability .