In this time and century, many people resort to self medication which can in turn lead to drug abuse unconsciously. First, what is a drug?
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According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Drug is defined as a pharmacological substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. Drugs are natural or synthetic chemicals capable of altering or modifying the functioning of the body system for therapeutic purposes.

While common drugs such as antibiotics , analgesics , sedatives , anti hypertensives are used for curing one ailment or the other. Some well known pharmacological agents are tagged- HARD DRUGS.

I say hard drug as substances that has severed addiction and high potential abuse which in the end leads to death. Most times , these drugs are illegal based upon the circumstances surrounding their usage.

A few common examples are include cocaine, heroin, marijuana (cannabis) and a host of others.

Drug abuse is the misuse , illegal consumption of drugs that are not legal or even when drugs are prescribed but used inappropriately such as taking overdose or under dose of the prescribed medications both of which may have dire consequences.



Codeine is known as an opioid analgesic used to manage pain and diarrhea . Codeine is known to be widely misused when consumed in large quantities as it has potential to produce a high mood (Euphoria).

Cough syrups are a major source of codeine. These codeine abusers mainly students when large quantities are consumed are exposed to adverse hazards such as dependence, tolerance, sedation and euphoria. The codeine is purchased under false claims from pharmacies to cure cough related conditions.
They often swallow the content of a bottle of cough syrup in one go or mix it with alcohol..beware of those red plastic cups!!!

Abuse of codeine poses a risk of depression and death. The risk is increased with concurrent abuse of alcohol.Other adverse effects may include constipation following prolonged use, dizziness, vomiting, headaches and dry mouth just to mention a few.

Apart from Codeine , other abused or misused opioid analgesics are include morphine, pentazocine (fortwin), tramadol and pethidine. Also, they tend to cause respiratory depression in large doses.

2. Paracetamol /Panadol

This is a very common drug that every household is familiar with . Unknowingly to some people , these drug has strong analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it to be abused.

In as much as it is used to cure or treat fever, headache as well as mild to moderate body aches, when consumed in excess it leads to the dreaded adverse effect is hepatotoxicity (liver damage) and this may occur after the maximum recommended dose of 4g (8 tablets) is exceeded per day.

Some other adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and rashes.

3. Antibiotics

Common Antibiotics such as tetracycline, amoxicillin, ampiclox etc are part of drugs that are misued and abused.
Another antibiotic that is also abused is ciprofloxacin and fluoroquinolone with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity . Used in the treatment of gastroenteritis (such as cholera and dysentery), typhoid, sexually transmitted infections (such as gonorrhea and chancroid), skin infections as well as urinary tract infections.
However, it’s not without adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness and rashes among others. Prolonged use can also cause vaginal infection (Candidiasis) in women.

Flagyl has been linked with adverse effects like loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, seizures, tremors and slurred speech.

4. POSTINOR 2( levonorgestrel)

Postinor 2 are mostly bought by young girls of between 19 and 26 years.

Postinor-2 is an emergency contraceptive only. Postinor-2 is not intended as a regular method of contraception.Users are advised not to use the emergency contraceptives more than twice in a 28-day period.

Commonly abused by young ladies..or how do u explain a 17years old girl coming for postinor 2 every Friday night.

5. HYPNOSEDATIVES Sedatives/Hypnotics

Drugs such as Valium , Lexotand and Ativan are classified as Hypnosedatives. These Drugs are mainly used to treat sleep disorders. Abused mostly by Adults who have become dependent on these pills in order to sleep.

Prolonged use of these medications is not without adverse effects such as respiratory depression, confusion, tolerance, dependence, visual disturbances, reduced libido (sexual drive) and headache

Abused especially by people with sleeping problems and young people with crazy motives.

6. PENTAZOCIN injection
This drug is a powerful but potentially additive analgesic which is used for severe pains resulting from conditions like sickle cell crisis, post surgical procedures, etc.

Although,a strictly controlled drug, Sicklers who “self medicate” are potential addicts to this drug.

7. Aspirin
Aspirin belongs to the group of drugs called Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Aspirins such as Alabukun and Phensic , ibuprofen, diclofenac, piroxicam (feldene), indometacin etc are widely abused by Nigerians.

Aspirins are used to treat severe headaches (such as migraine), dysmenorrhoea (menstrual pain), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and many other causes of pain.

These class of drugs act by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme which is involved in the production of prostaglandins that normally protect the epithelial lining of the stomach from acid secretion.

Hence, the most common adverse effect of aspirin and other NSAIDs is peptic ulceration which is the reason why they should be avoided or used with caution by individuals with previous or active peptic ulcer disease. Furthermore, aspirin is contraindicated in children less than 16 years as it can lead to Reye syndrome in them (characterized by liver damage and encephalopathy).

The drug misoprostol has been approved in Nigeria for use in preventing and treating post partum hemorrhage (PPH) but is increasingly being used to induce abortion.

Misoprostol is an agent used now by ladies who have unwanted pregnancies to induce abortion… But the drug has its drawbacks and it might invariably lead to many deaths.”

“Although, Misoprostol might trigger an abortion, they may also end up having an incomplete abortion. An incomplete abortion could result in severe infection, bleeding and in rare cases, even infertility, thus making conception impossible in future…
Please let us stop self medication and drug abuse ….. the side effects are not worth it. For people who are used to taking pain relivers, its better to take your rest and sleep seriously and avoid stressors.

Thanks for reading, if you have other opinions, please comment down here


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