The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the drug use in Nigeria report stating that the drug prevalence rate is now 14.4 per cent, and worsening concerns in a country with dilapidated health infrastructure. The bureau in the report which was uploaded on its website stated that the 14.4 per cent prevalence rate translates into about 14.3 million people. It said the extent of drug use in Nigeria is comparatively high when compared to the 2016 global annual prevalence rate of 5.6 per cent.
It said in Nigeria, one in seven persons between the ages of 15 to 64 years had used a drug other than tobacco and alcohol. The report stated that among every four drug users in Nigeria, one is a woman. It said the highest levels of drug use was among those between the ages of 25 and 39 years The NBS report also stated that one in five persons who had used drugs is suffering drug It explained that cannabis is the most commonly used drugs noting that about 10.6 million people had used cannabis in the past one year. The report said, “Cannabis use was seven times higher among men-18.8 per cent among men compared to 2.6 per cent of women, while the gender gap in the non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids such as tramadol was 6 per cent among men compared to 3.3 per cent among women.
” Geographically, the report stated that the highest prevalence of drug use was found in the southern geopolitical zones with prevalence rate ranging between 13.8 per cent and 22.4 per centcompared to the northern geopolitical zones which had prevalence ranging between ten per cent and 13.6 per cent. The report said nearly 40 per cent of high-risk drug users indicated a need for treatment of drug use disorders. “Most of the high risk drug users considered it was difficult to access drug treatment.
The cost of treatment and stigma attached to drug use and seeking treatment were cited as the primary barriers in accessing or availing drug treatment services,” it added It said Yobe, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos states were ranked as “the states where it was more difficult to access treatment for drug use disorder.”