Do you know your child or put another way….you sabi ya pickin?
Strange question you may say but then , it is an important one . Things dey happen…….yawa don gas! Like play like play, youths are getting bombed out.
Substance abuse is getting more intense and gathering momentum especially amongst the youths. You can guess the big ones… Cocaine, heroin and Amphetamine but leave them. Their gist is for another day.
The ones giving me bellyache me are at a different level…… these ones are not as well known as the big boys but they are as destructive.
Let’s start with monkey tail. It looks and sounds innocent but it’s not. Monkey tail has the pride of place on the street. In his song ‘story for the gods’ Olamide gave monkey tail a new twist.
Myriads of comments abound on cyberspace all in an attempt to pick Olamide’s mindset. Some of those comments get gbege oh and have both k legs and L legs
Monkey Tail …..really has nothing to do with monkey nor its tail. It is simply a drink made from a combination of ogogoro and igbo (marijuana leaves, stems, roots or seeds). It is highly intoxicative and addictive. Under its influence anything can happen because the user is unable to rationalise his or her behaviour. The potency is dependent on the percentage purity of the ogogoro and the inherent strength of the Igbo.
Whichever way, though, monkey tail no bi small thing.
On the street , Monkey Tail, is seen by most of its youthful abusers as a popular drink which proclaims or affirms their masculinity. Street boys and transporters drink it with reckless abandon and as has been suggested as a means of ‘escape’ from the travails of street life.
Next in line are cough syrups for which there is intense demand now. The demand is driven by the need to get ‘high’. Some cough syrups contain alcohol and codeine amongst other things. Codeine when used under the direction of a medical professional is a relatively safe way to treat minor pain or control troublesome coughs. However, users often abuse codeine for the feelings of relaxation and euphoria it generates.
Ever heard of African cocktail? On this one, ajebutterness embraces kpako. Lekki hugs Ajegunle or Trans- Ekulu embraces Obiagu. No class distinction here. For the ajebutter youth, it’s a must have for any serious party and for the street boy…..it’s the koko.
The cocktail comes in different variants but the central ingredient is codeine most often from cough syrups. The cocktail is made by mixing cough syrups with alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks. This creates a dangerously intoxicating and highly addictive mix. Owing to the overall sense of calm and feelings of pleasure provided by codeine this mix can lead to both psychological and physical dependence.
The third group which has been assuming ascendency lately include the abuse of non conventional things such as inhaling petrol, correction fluid and nail polish remover. Some others sniff lizard dung or create a concoction from a combination of materials with the popular robin blue powder as the major ingredient.
The driving factors for most youths is peer group pressure and the challenges and stress of everyday life . In most cases, they abuse these substances to have momentary relief and joy but are ignorant of the long term consequences.
Tell tale signs to look out for include changes in behaviour, mood swings, unhealthy appearance, bloodshot eyes, indifference to hygiene and grooming, increasing aggressiveness or feelings of wanting to be left alone.
These signs are pointers to the fact that professional help and intervention are needed.
But then, you have to know your child to be able to appreciate when any changes occur. So, I ask again…..you sabi ya pikin?