Posted by News Express | 1 October 2012 | 36,909 times
Renowned pharmacist, Prof. Dora Akunyili, has warned youths to steer clear of drug abuse, saying that it could destroy their future. She listed nine effects of alcohol abuse, 13 for Indian hemp, five for tobacco, nine for heroin, 11 for cocaine, five for depressants and three for volatile solvents. (Please see list below.)
The immediate past Minister of Information and Communications (shown in photo) was speaking Friday in a public lecture on “Youths and Drug Abuse” which she delivered at Aba Sports Club in Aba, Abia State. The lecture climaxed the 2012 “New Generation Month” of Rotary Club of Aba, which focused on assisting youths to develop higher moral values that are essential for them to live more fruitful lives.
Akunyili in her lecture defined drugs to include not only medicines but also “things like alcohol and cigarettes because these substances, just like other drugs, modify the functions of organs in the body of man or animals when taken.”
She went ahead to identify commonly abused drugs and the consequences of such abuse, among them cough, bronchitis, ulcer, heart attack, stroke, cancer, madness and premature death.
One of the highlights of the day was the conferment of an honorary membership of Rotary Club of Aba on Akunyili, who was decorated with the ‘End Polio Now’ pin. The former minister was also conferred with a Distinguished Alumna Award by the National President of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association. Akunyili thanked both organisations for the honour and pledged to continue to render selfless service to humanity.
Jointly organised by Rotary Club of Aba and the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, the event attracted Rotarians, University of Nigeria Alumni, members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Abia State, members of Aba Chamber of Commerce and Aba Sports Club, as well as the general public.
Dignitaries who graced the event included Rotary District Governor 9140, Dr. Onyebuchi Onuoha; National President of University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Dr. Nwanne Chioke; chairman of the Aba Branch of the association, Chief (Dr.) Grace Ukeje; and President of Rotary Club of Aba, Rotarian Kelechi Ukoumunna.
This is the second time in just over a month that Akunyili is being honoured by Rotary Club. On August 24, she had been inducted as an Honorary Member of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway – the highest honour a Rotary Club can bestow on any individual.
List of commonly abused drugs and consequences of their abuse:
ALCOHOL (E.g., beer, stout, ogogoro, burukutu, akpetesi, pito, palmwine, sapele water, kai kai. They all contain alcohol. Alcohol can cause (nine):
•Malnutrition resulting from depression of one’s appetite.
•Cancer of the mouth, oesophagus and stomach.
•Decreased resistance to diseases.
•Damage to brain cells, pancreas, kidney; Impotence and sterility in men.
•Birth defects such as low birth weight, small head sizes, limb abnormalities, muscle cramps and oedema in babies born by pregnant women who indulge in drinking.
•Fatty liver and ultimately liver cirrhosis.
•Loss of coordination, wife beating, child battering and broken home.
INDIAN HEMP (also called we-we, ganja, igbo, marijuana. It can cause the following:
•Impaired memory and low self perception.
•Lung diseases such as cancer, chest pain, bronchitis.
•Affects the immune response of the body to infections e.g. increasing the risk of developing full-blown AIDS.
•Mental problems which can degenerate to full blown madness.
•Increased heartbeat and blood pressure.
Babies with low birth weight and small heads can be born by mothers who smoke Indian hemp.
•Destroys the testes in men.
•Decreased ovulation and increased menstrual irregularities in women
•Loss of ambition and effectiveness
•Diminished ability to carry out long term plans
•Difficulty in concentrating and decline in school or work performance.
TOBACCO (contained in cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipe tobacco and chewed tobacco. Tobacco contains nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Nicotine can be habit forming; tar can cause cancer, while carbon monoxide is a very dangerous gas):
•Cough, bronchitis and ulcer.
•Cancer of the lungs, stomach, throat and lower parts of the large intestine.
HEROIN (very addictive and usually results in continuous or persistent craving for the drug. An attempt to stop it leads to significant and painful withdrawal symptoms):
•User is content to sit and dream in an euphoric state.
•Malnutrition because it suppresses hunger.
•Chronic bronchitis because it suppresses cough reflexes.
•Can cause abscess at the site of injection.
•Hepatitis, tetanus & endocarditis (infection of the heart lining).
•Can result in permanent necrosis & scarring at injection site.
•Can lead to HIV infection because of sharing of needles and syringes.
•Overdose can lead to death.
•For women who use heroin during pregnancy, it can cause heart disease, hepatitis, pneumonia, still birth or miscarriages and babies are smaller than average.
COCAINE (very addictive and can kill. It is a very strong stimulant to the Central Nervous System, including the brain):
•Increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
•Nasal Congestion and running nose.
•Disintegration of mucous membrane of the nose and damage to nasal septum.
•Restlessness, irritability and anxiety.
•Depression when drug is not available.
•Damage to liver, lungs and may lead to death when used for a long time.
DEPRESSANTS FIVE (These drugs depress the CNS and include the following: Hypnotics, Sedatives, e.g. phenobarbitone and Tranquilizers e.g. Valium & Librium. They are prescribed to induce sleep, relieve anxiety and relax muscles. They are dangerous when used with alcohol, which is also a depressant). Abuse of depressants can cause:
•Accidents either on the highway or household.
•Dependence and tolerance.
•Seizure during withdrawal.
•Unconsciousness and death from overdose or when mixed with alcohol.
•Loss of memory over a long period of use.
VOLATILE SOLVENTS such as glue, petrol, acetone and toluene (mostly abused through inhalation by youngsters between the ages of 10 – 18 years):
•Acute kidney failure.
•Damage to the brain by reducing brain size.
•Loss of memory and impaired respiration.
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