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Who will tell our story? A journey into the world of addicts
07. September 2018 at 22:55
He wanted to tell his story, his grass to grace tribulations; the hope of a child determined to defeat all odds on his ladder to success. He wanted to tell the world how he skipped meals, a time of One-Zero-One or Zero-Zero-One, to become the Bill Gate of his time.
He wanted to put smile on his mother's face who heaped tough mounds to bring him up when death hastily took away his father at a prime age. He wanted to see a fulfilled life when the battle ends. But he lived not to tell his story, rather he became history whose story built a storey reminisced on cautiousness and obedience.

Bola was a symbol of a typical Nigerian youth who in the hope of finding fortunes moved to city the where he ran into drug peddlers. They accommodated him, fed him and even promised to proffer him a job, a watering one, he thought. As promised, he became an agent of their drug network, after a fierce battle with his moral, as well as an addict himself. He was happy with the way fortune was smiling at him. But Bola did not notice the intrigues that lie beneath his new found hope; he could only see his dreamland, perhaps a stone thrown away.

However, the opening chapter of Bola's story death throes began with a cough - a sudden U-turn and a limelight on a crumbling castle of hope. Unable to bear the young Bola sickness, he was taken back to 'Abule' where his mother awaited a triumphant Bola, only to receive her only fruit in his death throes.

Although, Bola came, he saw, he never conquer. He wanted to tell his story, but he became a story. Who will tell his story? The story of the tiny twig that ended Bola's story. The story of a society long lost in hard and substance abuse. And the agony of Bola last statement " Who will tell our story".

Bola's story would not have been heart-strucking if not for his last will 'Who will tell our story'; a testament of a remorseful innocent young boy, lured to drugs, who dare not demur it due to his tete-a-tete and rapport in their pot. It was Bola today, who might be the scapegoat tomorrow?

Substance abuse remained the incomplete complaints of our time. An indispensable tool anomg adolescents on their gloomy path to adulthood. In the proverbial wisdom of our forbears - when a vine entwines one roof, it is time to cut it. And a tiny twig that we apt to discountenance is such that can make one go blind. Drug abuse is the tiny twig that could cast a shadow on the society's virile human and capital resources. Drug abuse is the oil in the unalloyed linen of our land that must be washed.

Abdulrasheed while narrating his addiction ordeal expressed dissatisfaction on how government handled substance/drug abuse with levity hands. He lamented that most youth got addicted on their way to finding what he described as 'exposure' to impress peers and be known with the growing trends.

"I don't take drugs, I smoke 'weed' occasionally. Perhaps when I am with my friends. Most of the guys out there don't know what exposure is. They think (that) when they take drugs or get 'high' is when they are in town.

Whenever I smoke, I feel drowsy and laugh hysterically. The last time I took it was when I mixed it with rice. It was highly intoxicant that I slept for hours and missed a scheduled interview for a sale boy"

He, however, expressed concern that drug abuse can only be minimised when these sophisticated drugs are sold strictly on prescription.

" The chemists that are all out are not reliable. They sell these 'things' to make profit without minding its effects on users"

This reporter learnt that drugs which are frequently abused are baptised with aliases to disguise it from the limelight. 'Sweet', ' Epa (groundnut), 'Viju' are common name given to Tramadol, Rev and Expectorants respectively.

Lekan argued that the ban on codeine did not affect their consumption. Instead, it lead to a boom in the sales of other drugs which, he said, is more intoxicating. However, Lanre regrets ever taking to drugs. Citing it as the worst decision he has ever made and advised youths to desist from it.

"The world of drugs is a world of depression and vanity. I lost two of my friends to drug. I just wish I quitted but it won't go.

Youth should desist from it, it is a world we don't belong" he said remorsefully.

Substance/drug abuse has hunted talent and proves to has a destructive potency on the mental health of users. Like Bola, Abdulrasheed and Lekan, most youths engage in substance abuse and more are on the verge of becoming one. Bola's last dream was to tell the world how drugs ended his youthful and promising life; Who will tell our stories?
Cite This Article As: Abiodun Jamiu. "Who will tell our story? A journey into the world of addicts." International Youth Journal, 07. September 2018.

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