Abuja — NIGERIA is battling a surge of communicable diseases among users of illegal drugs.
Among these deadly diseases, especially affecting users that inject themselves, are HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis.
Findings of the national drug use survey conducted in 2018, revealed that 14,4 percent of the general population use drugs.
This rate is higher than the global average of 5,6 percent. The highest levels of drug use were recorded among people aged between 25 to 39, with cannabis being the most widely-used drug.
The report further reveals that there are more people who inject drugs than previously estimated.
"Nigeria, with her huge population continues to experience an untold effect of drug use especially among youth," said Mashood Lawal, Director Food and Drugs in the Ministry of Health.
Nigeria is the continent's most populous country with over 190 million people.
The West African country has a reputation for drug abuse and peddling.
It has been previously reported that some soldiers engaged in the war with the Boko Haram northeast of the country were using illicit drugs to cope with depression.