This study examines the relationship between drug consumption, peace and security at the local and state levels in Nigeria. The purpose of the research was to interrogate popular assumptions related to the use and abuse of narcotics, regulated psychotropic medications and other psychoactive substances in Nigerian communities, and assess their impact on peace and conflict systems in the country. The data that this report is based on were gathered in five states as well as in the city of Lagos, in April and May 2016.
Drug use in Nigeria is analysed from a peacebuilding perspective that suggests a holistic approach to the role that it can play in violent conflicts in the country. This approach results in the recommendation of policies that are aimed at rehabilitating users by reducing social stigma against them and providing effective treatment options, while focusing law enforcement efforts on the targeting of high-volume suppliers of illicit and prescription drugs rather than street users or sellers. The author hopes the findings of this study will assist policy-makers in crafting an appropriate response to drug use and abuse in Nigeria that mitigates its role in exacerbating conflict, while strengthening cooperative bonds across society and respecting the human rights of users.
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