Drug abuse is now the order of the day in Nigeria, this can be seen mostly among adolescents. Following a recent documentary on prevalent of Codeine abuse by young Nigerians, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Federal Government, put a ban on cough syrups that contain Codeine. This is because most people now miss-use it.

In an interview with some drug abusers, the younger people noted that they took to the habit due to increased peer pressure, stating that it increased their level of acceptance by helping them blend into desired societal groups.

Some of these drugs include:

Antibiotics, paracetamol, codeine, aspirin :Popular brands include Alabukun and Phensic. Aspirin is a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) they are often used in treating severe headaches, menstrual pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and many other causes of pain. indometacin ibuprofen, diclofenac, piroxicam and so on are other examples of NSAIDs.

Aspirin act by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme which is involved in the production of prostaglandins that normally protect the epithelial lining of the stomach from acid secretion.

Hence, the common adverse effect of aspirin and other NSAIDs is peptic ulceration. Aspirin should be avoided or used with caution by individuals with previous or active peptic ulcer disease.

Furthermore, aspirin is contraindicated in children less than 16 years as it can lead to Reye syndrome in them (characterized by liver damage and encephalopathy) .

Codeine is another common drug which has been abused Codeine is an opioid analgesic , it is widely abused because of its potential to produce euphoria (high mood) when consumed in large quantities.

Hence, codeine abusers consume large quantities of codeine-containing cough syrups, sedation and euphoria, constipation , dizziness, vomiting, headaches and dry mouth, they also tend to cause respiratory depression in large dose ,just to mention a few are some of the adverse effects of abusing codeine, morphine, pentazocine, tramadol and pethidine are other types of opiod analgesics that are sometimes abused too.

However, Paracetamol can’t be excluded from drugs that are being abused on a daily basis, Paracetamol is a general name for analgesic ,It comes in different popular brand names such as panadol, boska and M&B.

Due to its analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties, paracetamol is widely used and frequently abused for the treatment of fever, headache, body aches. it is not without adverse effects mostly when consumed in excess. the most dreaded adverse effect is hepatotoxicity (liver damage) and this may occur after the maximum recommended dose of 4g (8 tablets) is exceeded per day.

The incidence of hepatotoxicity is higher among alcoholics. Some other adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and rashes. Antibiotics cants be left out too ,taking antibiotics repeatedly and improperly ,will contribute to the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one of the world’s most pressing health problems .at some point in antibiotics will may no longer work , for the individual, due to prior abuse of the drug.

Antibiotics such as tetracycline, metronidazole (flagyl) and ciprofloxacin are equally victims of widespread abuse. For instance, ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity variously used in the treatment of gastroenteritis, typhoid, sexually transmitted infections , skin infections as well as urinary tract infections.

However, it’s not without adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness and rashes among others. Flagyl has been linked with adverse effects like loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, seizures, tremors and slurred speech.

Drug abuse in Nigeria or any other part of the world is bad, self-medication and excessive use of drugs is harmful to the body, therefore drugs should be taken only , based on doctor’s prescription, pharmacists should endeavor to sell drugs strictly based on doctor’s prescription, stay healthy.

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