Recently of course there has been a rising increase of drug abuse and addiction especially codeine syrups in the northern part of Nigeria and I was more than shocked when my research confirmed word on the streets that women, both married and unmarried are mostly the ones divulging in this act.
If you know me, its no news that I am very big on issues concerning women and best believe was perplexed and for a moment thoughts of reasons why they would do such a thing filled me.
Well here is what I think…
Depression has led these women into seeking solace in a drug as deadly as this. because the holy book specifically states that we all (Muslims)should stay away from intoxicants, narcotics and anti depressants which has side effects like nausea and euphoria becomes an option because to them, these are not intoxicants.
What do we expect in a society where young girls are forced into marriages all for the money? We just believe that every young person doesn’t have anything to be bothered about therefore neglecting their feelings and then depression sets in which leaves taking this drug in high dosage as the only option especially when their troubles are pushed aside and tagged as unimportant by the same people meant to care for them. It really takes nothing for the society to be there for people in such a situation.
Women all around face the Culture of silence. Especially in northern Nigeria. Its enough that a woman has to keep quiet when raped because of the stigma that follows when she speaks up (thank God for certain organisation doing so much to change this narrative), its also another thing when she has to swallow almost all of the wrongs just for the sake of a marriage that is slowly dragging her to the limit. If these women are allowed to speak about the things troubling them, I believe they will feel a lot better which means running to a drug will not be in the picture.
I have seen, read and heard where married women lament bitterly to their loved ones and instead of finding solutions, they are even reprimanded and blamed. No form of action is taken. Instead, they pump them with more dose of patience and they keep being pumped with until frustration and depression set in until they find solace in drugs.
Apart from the infamous peer pressure that we like to put everything on, verbal abuse can make these women find a friend in drugs. Speaking to a woman like an object you purchased at the market is a bitter truth reoccurring in the northern part of Nigeria. Simply because she is your property doesn’t make her any less of a human. These are mothers to your child.
What trait will she leave for her child?Why should she be rebuked for complaining?
Why should she close her eyes and act numb to the pain all in the name of marriage?
Why should she be made to marry forcefully in this time and age?
Why should she be raped all in the name of performing wifely duties?
Until these questions have been answered and sorted, banning codeine won’t do.