Jos, Plateau State: A Nigerian anti-drugs activist, Mrs. Violet Adama Nyelong Kaburuk says pregnant women abusing drugs directly expose their unborn children to their effects.
“When you smoke, drink alcohol, or ingest caffeine, so does the fetus,” said Violet, Friday in a press statement.
“If you do marijuana, crystal meth or are addicted to cocaine, you are not only putting your own life on the line, but risking the life of your unborn baby. Your fetus feels the impact of these dangerous drugs,” said the Founder, Zishiya Empowerment Foundation on the 2020 international day against drugs.
Taking drugs during pregnancies, the activist said increases the chance of birth defects, premature babies, underweight babies, affects child’s memory and attentiveness, respiratory failure, seizures and heart attack among others.
Exposure to drugs in the womb, Violet warned can also lead to “significant deficits” later in children, “which can affect the child not just in school but in life.”
Drug users according to her are generally at risk of “High blood pressure, mood or heart attack, stroke, psychosis, overdose and even death.”
“Lung or heart disease, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and addiction are also associated with drug abuse. Drug use can change how certain brain circuits work, thereby interfering with how people make decisions, ability to learn and remember.
“These changes make it much difficult to stop taking the drugs even when they are having negative effects on their lives and want to quit. Drugs can also have indirect effects on both the people who are taking the drugs and on those around them,” said Violet.
World drug day according to her is a reminder for people, communities and governments to “join forces in fighting this monster (drug), a silent killer and a pandemic that has been in existence for long, robbing our society, killing our children.”
Drug abuse worldwide she said is increasing at an “alarming rate”, especially among young adults under the age of 30.
“In almost every household nowadays, you hardly cannot find one person who is into drugs or abusing substances. I please call on us all to collectively salvage our land from the dreaded, silent killer,” she said.