AJUMA DRISU: The Addict, the Family,  and Recovery

AJUMA DRISU: The Addict, the Family,  and Recovery

There is a growing “addiction epidemic” especially amongst youths and even children in Nigeria today. The problem of drug abuse amongst the teeming Nigerian youths has become a thing of grave concern and has generated lots of debates in recent times.


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So many interest groups, individuals, organizations as well as government agencies, in one way or the other, have staged  public campaigns and awareness programs in the fight against drug abuse, apparently a welcomed development. However, there has been so much talk about the consequences of drug abuse and the illicit trafficking of drugs but little propagation to orientate and support the addicts.

No doubt, drug abuse possess a lot of dangers as it has devastating consequences on the immediate family of the addict. Nationwide, one out of every three household is affected by addiction.

The first group of people  hit by the terrible consequences of drug abuse is the family of the addict. Not only does the addict’s behaviour affect the family system, it completely shuts him or her out of enjoying the love and support of the family. Just like Ebola, the addict is avoided and discriminated against. More like refusing to touch a dead snake with a ten-foot pole.

Worthy of note is the important role the family has in the recovery of an addict.

As a result of the broken family system in Nigeria, Parents and Guardians have failed to listen or pay close attention to their children. The family is losing the strong influence it had once in the lives of children and youths.It’s sad to see society discriminating against drug dependent individuals. Away from the society, the family system is the only safe haven an addict can completely rely on.

Truth be told, lots of children and youths haven’t had good models in their parents, nor had their parents model true values and proper behaviour but the problem can be remedied. Parents can and should pay close attention to the addicts by refocusing them to adopt a healthy lifestyle and model behaviour worthy of emulation.

We must begin to create the consciousness about the dangers of drug abuse in the minds of the younger generation so that they are able to make sound and authentic life choices that would enable them adopt healthy lifestyles.

However, we can change our perception about drug addicts by encouraging them to seek rehabilitation and cure for their addiction.

Encourage addicts to enrol in a detox program as well as help  them to identify situations that would put them at high risk of relapse. We can also help them to develop and practice skills to maintain sobriety. A family that is supportive may provide additional motivation to get and stay sober. Create an atmosphere of love and understanding while working through the rehabilitation process with the addict. No addict is beyond recovery. People recover, however, family members of an addict can provide immense support during the recovery process.

The road to recovery might be a long and unpleasant one but recovery is possible.

Ajuma Drisu is a freelance writer and content creator. In her free time, she enjoys listening to good music, reading , and working with youths. You can connect with Ajuma Drisu on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Ajuma.Drisu or on Twitter @belladrell.