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For three weeks up until Monday 15th April 2019, I spent my yearly vacation in the United Kingdom.

In the middle of this vacation, I was rudely awoken by the shock of two negative reports flashed in the London Metro newspaper.

The first of these two negative reports that literally made front page was this outlandish claim by the octogenarian minister of Agriculture of Nigeria Mr. Audu Ogbeh that Nigerian upper class now orders their sharwama from the United Kingdom through daily delivery by the British Airways.

This dubious claim made most readers of that paper to have good laugh at us as a nation whereby the cabinet level ministers occupy their times with road side gossips. The story is a reminiscence of a fictional account in the book ‘the beautiful ones are not yet born’ authored by a Ghanaian novelist about some of the lavish lifestyles of the immediate post independence leaders of Ghana which actually led to the overthrow of the then government of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah. Currently, the wife of the dictator of Cameroon is known to be shopping in the West for her breakfasts.

The second story that followed almost immediately was the reported death of three students out of four of the famed Federal University of Technology (FUTO) Owerri and the best polytechnic in Nigeria – Nekede Polytechnics. Federal polytechnics Nekede Owerri is rated by the regulatory body as the best of the nation’s polytechnics. Now, this calamity has blighted the image of that institution.

These students died because they embarked on rounds of hard drugs- fueled sexual activities between three boys who took turns to have fun with a girl who herself is (was) a student in same school.

The lone surviving ‘veteran’ of the maniacal sexual depravity has just been claimed by punch newspaper to have also died.

If confirmed, it would mean that the vicious circle of death is now complete far from the initial trinity of deaths that was recorded when the news hit the air waves.

This toxic act of moral depravity and the crime of drug addiction and infestation bring to the fore the larger issue of the consequences of reliance on performance enhancing drugs for sex vis-a-vis the addiction to the worrying trend of pornography amongst students in Nigeria.

Pornography in Nigeria has even taken a flamboyant dimension with a certain celebrity DJ and a wannabe blogger who regularly (weekly ) pays out #50,000 to any adventurous girl brave or foolish enough to display her nakedness on the live internet streaming video programme of this emerging online entertainment blog, supported by some of the top rated musicians in Nigeria.

This story came about the same time it was reported that the Videos and Films Censor’s board in Nigeria confiscated hundreds of cartons of pornographic films from some pirates who sell pirated pornographic videos to the unsuspecting Nigerian public.

There is, therefore, the need for policy planners and implementors to quickly but deliberately return to the drawing board if any, and analytically take critical look at the trinity of hard drugs, pornography and students with a view to working out achievable plans on how to check this rising menace that has afflicted the Nigerian school system.

Also, pornography and hard drugs are threats to quality delivery of services by public servants some of whom rely so much on hard drugs and usually spend quality office hours to be glued to pornographic images and videos on their phones. Some even use publicly funded data to watch pornography.

Impeccable sources told me from Owerri that the Federal University of Technology in Owerri, federal polytechnic Nekede and virtually all public and private universities in the country suffer from the malaise of hard drugs and sexual activities by the students driven mainly by their addiction to porns.

Most of these schools owned especially by the federal and state governments lack a decent housing asset for students thereby compelling students to stay off campuses whereby they enjoy relative and comparative freedoms to do with their bodies as they please.

The particular hostel in Owerri where that foursome sexual act was conducted is a notorious spot for the selling and consumption of hard drugs as I am told by many students of those schools aforementioned.

The school authorities deliberately feign ignorance of the scale of these crises in their schools and thereby allow their students to wallow in moral debauchery and to ceaselessly engage in indecent sexual activities fueled mostly by hard drugs and pornography. The borders are so porous to an extent that pirated pornographic materials floods the markets through some organised criminal gangs headed by some Chinese. We have a big problem on our hands. Unfortunately the schools through their ‘I don’t care’ management boards pretend as if these issues are out of reach of students.

This informed the reason why as soon as this sad incident happened in Owerri, the spokesmen of both the Federal University of Technology Owerri, and Federal Polytechnic Owerri, were more concerned about putting up half-baked propaganda defenses out in the media and have till now not told Nigerians what the respective managements are doing to check these far-reaching social problems. Even the minister of education has said nothing.

This is however not the time to keep silent but a time for sober reflection to remind these school managers that they and indeed we as citizens of this nation need to confront this hydra-headed monsters because we are in one way or the other involved in some ways as elders and parents of those students.

The Nigerian national assembly and the respective state legislatures need to do the needful to confront head-long these menace tearing our society apart.

The implications of doing nothing is that we run the risk of producing political leaders who are drugs and sexual addicts and the polity will suffer.

In the western jurisdiction such as United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia, authorities are not sleeping on their duty of care for their students and responsibility to enforce rules against illicit drugs, pornography and wild sexual escapades by their students.

Research on these critical issues showed that from the 1970s on, rates of alcohol consumption and binge drinking have remained fairly constant.

Researchers in Western Europe say that college students have always represented a large portion of the population abusing drugs and alcohol on a regular basis.

On changes in Drug Abuse Trends in College these scholars asserted that although alcohol abuse has maintained a steady presence on college campuses, the type and frequency of other substances has varied throughout the years.

Some researchers suggest drug abuse is cyclical. This means that as concern over one drug rises, so do prevention efforts.

Also, the argued that, as use falls for that drug, so does the effort to reduce its use. This can then lead to lack of education and resurgence in abuse of that drug in certain jurisdictions.

They believe that some of the things that impact which drugs are targets for abuse, especially on college campuses, include:

  • Shifts in public perception of drugs
  • Changes in legislation that make penalties more or less severe
  • Availability of certain drugs, especially prescriptions

On Effects of drugs abuse among the students, these researchers being consulted say that: Substance abuse occurs when someone uses a drug outside of how it was intended or prescribed.

This in their expert opinion can include taking a drug without a prescription to increase concentration or smoking marijuana in order to relax.

“Although the signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse vary based on the substance, there are often psychological patterns that emerge in those who are consistently abusing. While some personality changes can be attributed to other stressors, dramatic shifts that are otherwise unexplained may signal something is wrong. Some ways to tell if a college student is abusing drugs or alcohol include:

  • Decreased interest in classes and extracurricular activities
  • Drastic change in grades or academic performance
  • Shifts in sleeping patterns or fluctuations in weight
  • Time spent in new social circles, especially among those who have a reputation of abuse
  • Withdrawing from friends or acting secretive
  • Unexplained changes in behavior or personality
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings, depression or irritability

In what perhaps represents the most frightening aspects of these reflections, the scientists say that Substance abuse does not discriminate. No one, regardless of whether they come from a good family or have a high GPA, is immune to drug abuse.

There is no “type” of drug addict, as substance abuse can affect anyone.

They then stated that based on social pressures, expectations and availability of certain drugs, there are some demographics on college campuses that may be at a higher risk of encountering and abusing drugs. These include:

  • Fraternity and sorority members
  • Campus athletes
  • Students with mental health concerns
  • Residents of on-campus housing and dorms
  • Students facing extreme amounts of stress

Additionally, research has shown that males are more likely than females to both abuse drugs and face severe consequences for it, including: arrest, injury and even death.

Universally, they affirmed that alcohol has never lost its appeal among college kids. Drinking games that can lead to dangerous binge drinking practices are a staple at most college parties, both on and off campus. In fact, according to statistics published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heavy alcohol use is actually higher among college students versus their non-college peers.

Data collected in the 2015Monitoring the Future survey show that while 24.9% of young adults who do not attend college have been intoxicated in the last month, 38.4% of college students report being drunk in the last month. Similar results demonstrate that 31.9% of the college students surveyed reported participating in binge drinking in the past two weeks, versus only 23.7% of non-college attending young adults.

In their findings from these European nations and Australia when it comes to drug abuse among college students, marijuana reigns as the drug of choice.

Hear them: “In fact, daily marijuana use among college students in the U.S. is now at the highest level since 1980. The increase may be attributed to the growing belief in recent years that regular marijuana use is not harmful or dangerous. In 2006, 55% college-aged respondents in the Monitoring the Future survey considered marijuana use as dangerous, where in the same survey in 2014 only 35% considered it dangerous. In fact, the 2014 monitoring the Future survey reported that daily marijuana use surpassed daily cigarette smoking for the first time.”

“The upward trend for smoking marijuana in college appears to follow the level of use of marijuana among high school seniors. According to Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study, “It’s clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students, and this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.” These researches then gave us what called ‘Prescription “Study Drugs” Abused at College Campuses’.

According to them, not all drug abuse among college students involves illicit substances.

This they say so because Amphetamines in the ADHD category, such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse, have become de rigueur at college campuses right alongside energy drinks and Starbucks confections. Let’s see what pornography is before we make quick recommendations.

Pornography may be defined as “the depiction of erotic behavior (sexual display in pictures or writing) that is intended to cause sexual excitement” in the viewer. Over the past decade, there has been a large increase in the pornographic material that is available to both adults and children.

“While the exact amount of revenue that the pornography industry generates in this country is unclear, the Internet filtering service Covenant Eyes estimates the 2012 U.S. revenue to be around $8 billion.”

Statistically, it is estimated that since 2007, revenue has declined by 50%, but this decline is likely due to the availability of more free online pornography and not to a total decline in pornography usage.

In 2008, the Internet and marketing firm Hitwise reported that globally 40,634 web sites distributed pornography.

Who then consumes these pornographic materials? In 2014 Barna Group survey revealed the following demographic data regarding pornography use by American adults:

Among males 18-30 years old, 79% viewed pornography once per month and 63% viewed pornography greater than once per week.

Among males 31-49 years old, 67% viewed pornography once per month and 38% viewed pornography greater than once per week.

Among males 50-68 years old, 49% viewed pornography once per month and 25% viewed pornography greater than once per week.

Among females 18-30 years old, 34% viewed pornography once per month and 19% viewed pornography more than once per week.

Among females 31-49 years old, 16% viewed pornography once per month and 8% viewed pornography greater than once per week.

Among females 50-68 years old, 5% viewed pornography once per month and 0% viewed pornography greater than once per week.

Interestingly, it was found out by scholars that demographic data is similar among younger age groups.

Specifically, A 2008 article in THE JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH revealed that 67% of young men and 49% of young women found pornography acceptable.

Gravely, Pornography exposure for children and adolescents has become almost ubiquitous. This was the conclusion of these researchers we are consulting.

In a 2010 survey of English students between 14 to 16 years old, almost one third claimed that their first exposure to Internet pornography was at 10 years old or younger.

In a 2011 survey, 31% of adolescent boys admitted visiting web sites that were intended as Adult Only.

The case of the USA is frightening. A large survey of American young people revealed that 51% of males and 32% of females claimed to have viewed pornography for the first time before they were 13 years old, so says researchers.

In a 2012 Australian study of pornography use, men who were frequent pornography users said that their first exposure was between the ages of 11 to 13 years old.

Observers say similar findings as aforementioned were recorded in a 2009 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health which found that 85% of adolescent males and 50% of adolescent females had been exposed to pornographic material.

They then gave their verdict thus: “Clearly, pornography has become pervasive throughout modern American society. Research, however, is only beginning to delineate its impact upon children, adolescents, and adults”.Source:https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/the-impact-of-pornography-on-children

https://www.addictioncenter.com/college/facts-statistics-college-drug-abuse/.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is the head of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs @www.huriwanigeria.com,www.emmanuelonwubiko.comwww.huriwa@blogspot.com .

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