…and a peek at what MTN ASAP is about to do in Rivers State to avoid it
Scenes from the ‘Area Boy’ play that is centred around themes of substance abuse.
Did you know that in 1985, outside the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, 3 young Nigerians were tied to the stake and shot for illegal possession of hard drugs – cocaine and heroin? It was the first time Nigerians were executed for hard drugs-possession under Decree 30.
In spite of the grim story, things haven’t gotten better. A survey supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Union was released earlier in the year and it shows that about 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64 have abused drugs in the past one year! Proshare’s Report indicates that 1 in 7 people between the ages of 15 and 64 years used a drug (other than tobacco and alcohol) in the past year.
The death penalty isn’t scaring people anymore.
With the increase in available ‘medical’ substances such as Codeine and Tramadol, the notoriety and spread of the much-talked-about cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc have continued to rise even more.
What starts as a simple ‘sampling’ of substances can over a period escalate to addiction. The body seeks higher dosages or intakes of a substance to achieve the same level of euphoria.
In other words, one needs more and more, and even more. Which makes it extremely easy to overdose on a substance and this, sadly, can lead to death! Substance abuse and addiction also greatly increases the severity of depressive episodes which can also increase suicidal thoughts.
The ASAP Awareness Walk that held in Lagos
To prevent this problem, the Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP) led by MTN, has taken the message of substance-abstinence to various locations around Lagos State and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the thousands of young people in the various locations. Lagos was the first phase in a multi-pronged campaign that will be taken across 5 states in Nigeria.
Students listening during the MTN ASAP Brighter life Programme in Surulere, Lagos
Now, we can’t wait to see how Rivers will respond to the #MTNASAP movement as the team heads for the Treasure Base of Nigeria. The Assembly hour will hold in various markets and bus parks; secondary and tertiary institutions across the state will also be active participants. Who else is excited about the ASAP Walk?
So many stories to be told… So many lives to change and so many ways to help.