Heart of Arts

Impact Of Drugs on The Youths, Transnational Organized Crimes and Insurgency in Nigeria

Dr. Suleiman T. Folorunsho

Head, Clinical Psychology.
Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos




YOUTH is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence. That’s why, as a category, youth is more fluid than other fixed age groups. Yet, age is the easiest way to define this group, particularly about education and employment, because ‘youth’ is often referred to as a person between the ages of leaving compulsory education, and finding their first job.

The United Nations, for statistical purposes, defines youth as those. Persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to others, while the United Kingdom defines it as an age group between 16 and 29 years.

In most cultures, people believe that youths are the leaders of tomorrow, based on the fact that they are the vehicles through which positive changes can be realized. And this is why many parents invest in the future of their children. The government, parents, and guardians devote a lot of time and resources to exploring and harnessing the potentialities of youth. Therefore, a society that neglects youth development may negatively affect future national development. Youths, when neglected, find escape and solace in such things as drug abuse, pickpocketing, loitering, rape, auto theft, truancy, delinquency or criminal acts, and insurgency (Radda 2009).

Drug abuse or dependence is defined as a state of psychological or physical dependence on a drug, following the administration of the drug on a periodic, continuous basis (WHO 2015). Drug abuse constitutes the use of any substance under international control, outside therapeutic indications, at an excessive dose level, or over an unjustified period (Tupper, 2012).

People who indulge in drug abuse cannot be regarded as healthy and developed, since the abusers lose their potential to this activity. The consequences of drug abuse are multifarious and range from untimely death, suicides, road accidents, violent crimes, laziness, mediocrity, and subsequent impoverishment that most of the time leads to a broken home, dreams are scattered, potential power is wasted as the abusers struggle to sustain the habit, and subsequently, they become burdens to themselves, their families, society, and the state at large. Unfortunately, young people who are supposed to shoulder Nigeria’s future development in terms of socio-economic aspects are constant promoters of this sub-culture and anti-social activities of drug abuse.



International crimes are crimes that are not only international but also cross borders between countries. Transnational crimes also include crimes that take place in one country but whose consequences significantly affect another country, and transit countries may be involved. Examples of transnational crimes include: human trafficking, smuggling of goods, firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal animal and plant products, and other goods prohibited on environmental grounds, e.g., banned ozone-depleting substances, sex slavery, terrorism offences, torture, apartheid, or any crimes that are against humanity.

Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) is organized crime coordinated across national borders involving groups of individuals working in more than one country, to plan and execute illegal business ventures. To achieve their goals, these criminal groups use systematic violence and consumption. Common transnational organized crimes include conveying drugs, conveying arms, trafficking for sex, toxic waste disposal, material theft, and poaching.


The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 55/25 of November 15, 2000, to use this instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime internationally. The law came into force on September 29, 2003, and the convention represents a major step in the fight against transnational organized crime, including human trafficking. The convention also signified the need to foster and improve international cooperation to tackle these problems. States that ratify the convention commit themselves to taking several measures against transnational organized criminal offences.

Transnational Crime was officially known in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission and renamed in 1950 as Interpol, Today, it is the largest international police organization in the world and is made up of 190 member nations

Transnational crimes are violations of the law that involve more than one country in their planning and execution.


  • Unemployment
  • Poverty
  • Lack of parental supervision
  • Advertisement
  • The need for energy to work for longer hours
  • Availability of the drugs
  • Emotional and psychological stresses
  • Experimentation/Curiosity
  • Peer Pressure
  • Non-School Attendance
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Influence of Culture
  • Divorce or Marital disharmony



  • Sudden change in behaviour
  • Mood swings such as irritability or subtle withdrawal from family members
  • Careless about personal growth, such as poor personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or other significant things in their lives
  • Insomnia, such as sleep problems
  • Sniffle or running nose
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Deteriorating of physical appearance
  • Unusual smells on breath or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech and impaired coordination
  • Marks on skin, such as injection spot


  • Liver diseases, lung diseases
  • Poor memory
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • It weakens the immune system
  • Abnormal heart rates and blood vessel infections from injected drugs
  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • Impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • It increases the number of political thuggery
  • It increases the number of insurgencies and unrest because 95% of the insurgents are drug addicts
  • It increases the number of insane people in society
  • It increases the number of criminal offences like robbery, kidnapping and boundary
  • It may lead to poor interpersonal relationships among members of the family and society at large
  • Loss of social control
  • Draining of family resources
  • Shrinking from responsibility
  • Sickness and death
  • Loss of Potential manpower, low productivity and an unfavourable environment for the investors
  • Government spends more money on security settlements of IDP created as a result of drug abuse instead of using funds to provide social amenities
  • It tarnishes the image of the country
  • It encourages corruption among Nigerians
  • It encourages looters to loot public funds
  • It causes political unrest in the country
  • It is, therefore, important to note that, before any evil act of armed robbery, insurgency, crimes, banditry, herdsmen clash, and political unrest are all caused by drug abuse, and most of the looters looting public funds are drug barons.
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Mental confusion and brain damage
  • Difficulty in decision-making and attention span


  • Employment opportunities
  • The government should provide basic needs to the population, such as social infrastructure
  • Fighting corruption by the government of the day
  • Creating awareness in the community of the dangers of drug abuse
  • Provision of alternatives to drug abuse, like recreational activities
  • Organizing teachings, seminars, workshops, etc to educate youths on the dangers of drug abuse
  • Reduction in the sales of drugs in the community
  • Establish vigilante groups that will monitor the sales of drugs and punish offenders
  • Embarking on mass media against drug abuse
  • Provide homes for homeless youths, orphans and widows
  • Increase the number of security personnel in NDLEA and provide the necessary facilities
  • NGOs should support the war against drug abuse in society.
  • Participation of religious organizations will go a long way toward reducing drug abuse in society
  • Stringent punishment for sellers and buyers
  • The NDLEA should be well-supervised
  • Parents should care for their children’s needs, such as physical needs and provide adequate supervision
  • Provision of rehabilitation centres for the affected youth
  • Training of personnel that will care for the affected youths, like counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health-related workers.



  • Drug trafficking
  • Organs trafficking
  • Smuggling of migrants
  • Human trafficking
  • Money-laundering
  • Trafficking in firearms
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Wildlife and cultural property trafficking
  • Sea piracy, Aircraft hijacking, and theft of international property



  • The geostrategic position of the country concern
  • Poor governance
  • Corruption
  • Poverty
  • Issues of inequality in the country
  • Social mobility



  • It can cause instability in the country concerned
  • It can lead to poor development programmes in society
  • It leads to a high level of corruption in the society
  • It can increase domestic corruption in society
  • It can lead to extortion that will tend to affect the economic situation in society
  • Racketeering and violence are common in the society concerned
  • It constitutes a threat to governance
  • It can affect both national and international societies
  • It could lead to failed states that will experience weak institutions and high levels of corruption
  • Violations of law and norms of society are common phenomena in the states concerned

Generally, it is important to note that most drug organizations are expanding into human trafficking, smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping for ransom (UNODC, 2018). It is therefore important for all hands to be on deck to reduce the menace of drug abuse, transnational organised crimes, and insurgency in Nigeria by responsible authorities.

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