Shoe polish, methylated Spirit now used by Youths to get high – NDLEA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has reported that youths are now using nail polish and methylated spirit to achieve a state of ‘highness’. The agency noted that conventional narcotic substances like tramadol, codeine syrup, and cannabis have become too expensive for some users.



Tijjani Rabe, the Ogun State Commander, revealed this while receiving members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the command’s headquarters in Abeokuta. Represented by Deputy State Commander Ekundayo Williams, Rabe expressed concern that the issue is troubling for families, society, and Nigeria as a whole.


Despite ongoing sensitization and advocacy efforts, the agency has observed a yearly increase in substance abuse. Rabe cited a 2018 survey showing that 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 to 16 had used a substance in the previous year, reflecting a 5.6 percent increase from 2016. The survey also indicated that 20 percent of these individuals have drug disorders.


Rabe pointed out that besides conventional drugs, many people now use household items like nail polish and methylated spirit, particularly among youths who cannot afford conventional drugs. He added that one in five abusers injects drugs with needles and syringes, which increases the risk of spreading blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B.


The NDLEA chief highlighted that the South-west region has the highest rate of drug issues, with Ogun State having more abusers due to its large number of tertiary institutions and diverse youth population. The agency, in collaboration with other organizations and stakeholders, has extended its sensitization and advocacy efforts to schools, places of worship, markets, parks, and rural communities.

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