Health, The Gap

Types, most common hard drugs in Nigeria

Types, most common hard drugs in Nigeria

Hard drugs can cause physical, psychological, and even fatal addiction. Most countries forbid pharmaceutical production, sale, or use for anything other than recognised medical needs. Opioids including heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone (Oxycontin), and morphine are examples of hard drugs. The group of hard narcotics known as benzodiazepines also includes diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam. Cocaine, nicotine, and methamphetamine (meth) are examples of hard stimulant substances. In many nations, it is legal to sell drugs like alcohol and nicotine, albeit they are frequently taxed.

Hard drugs in Nigeria

Given their involvement in severe drug addiction, Nigerian youths’ current health state is depressing and concerning. In Nigeria, more than 11% of young people use hard drugs like syrup, tramadol, diazepam, cocaine, and shisha mix, among others. According to the 2021 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), over 36 million individuals worldwide suffered from drug use disorders in the previous year, while around 275 million people used drugs globally. According to the 2018 National Drug Use Survey, there were around 14.3 million drug users in Nigeria, of whom nearly three million had a drug use disorder.

man using hard drugs

Drug use rose by 22% between 2010 and 2019, which can be attributed partly to the increase in the world population. According to current forecasts, there will be an increase in drug usage worldwide of 11% by 2030, with a notable increase of 40% in Africa due to its fast expanding and youthful population. This would mean that by 2030, there will be 20 million drug users in Nigeria, significantly complicating the nation’s public health and security problems.

To combat drug and substance misuse in Nigeria, the Federal Government plans to increase its partnerships with relevant organisations. According to retired Brig-Gen, the government was developing a new coordinating mechanism, similar to the national drug control commission, which would pass legislation and aid in the fight against drug abuse. Buba Marwa, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse. He also said that current institutions would be strengthened and given more power as the panel developed drug prevention initiatives. 

Additionally, he said that current institutions would be strengthened and given more power as the commission develops drug prevention initiatives. He said that some of the initiatives the Federal government is developing to address drug-related issues include the availability of new rehabilitation centres for treatment and aftercare.

Types of hard drugs

Hard drugs are seen as more potent and toxic, both physically and mentally, despite being difficult to describe. These extremely addictive substances, typically injectable, harm organs and physiological processes most quickly. 

Hard drugs can be classified into the following types. They are:

  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants: Examples of hard drugs in this category are: Valium, alcohol, barbiturates, etc.
  • CNS Stimulants: Some examples include cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.
  • Hallucinogens: An example of a hallucinogen is Ecstasy.
  • Dissociative Anesthetics: Dissociative drugs include PCP.
  • Narcotic Analgesics: Opium, Codeine, heroin, morphine, and methadone are some examples of these drugs.
  • Inhalants: Inhalants include toluene, gasoline, plastic cement, and various anesthetic gases.

Common hard drugs in Nigeria

The commonly used hard drugs in Nigeria are:




The opium poppy, a flower that typically blooms in Mexico, Asia, and South America, is the source of the narcotic heroin. It is very addictive and has been prohibited in the US since 1924. It may resemble a white, brown, or sticky black “tar” powder. Other names include brown sugar, horse, smack, and crap.

Heroin is frequently smoked or snorted. Most users administer through the veins. That is the riskiest method to utilize because it is simpler to overdose, and a dirty needle can spread disease. Whatever method you use, heroin swiftly reaches your brain. Addiction is also simple to develop. It can be difficult to stop using it again, even after only a couple of times. You experience an immediate rush of positive emotions and euphoria after using heroin. Then, for a while, it seems as though time has stopped. You may also move slowly while you think. Users claim that you feel as though you’re in a dream.



The leaves of the South American native coca plant are used to make cocaine, a highly addictive stimulant narcotic. Although it is permissible for medical professionals to use cocaine for legitimate medical procedures, such as local anaesthetic during some surgeries, it is prohibited for recreational usage. Users either snort the powder through their nose, rub the powder into their gum or dissolve the powder and inject it into their bloodstream. Side effects include extreme happiness, mental alertness, nausea, dilated pupils, fast and irregular heartbeats, and a high risk of contracting infections, HIV, and hepatitis C.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth

Methamphetamine, sometimes known as crystal meth, is a potent and extremely addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It has no legitimate use.

It occurs in the form of brilliant blue-white rocks or transparent crystal pieces. It’s a well-liked party drug that is also referred to as “ice” or “glass.” Users often inhale crystal meth through a tiny glass pipe, but they can also snort, inject, or swallow it. People claim that they experience a brief burst of exhilaration right after using it. It’s hazardous, though. It can harm your body and result in serious psychological issues.



The nightshade family of plants, including tobacco and Duboisia hopwoodii, naturally generate the alkaloid nicotine, which is extensively used recreationally as a stimulant and anxiolytic. It is a medicinal substance intended to lessen withdrawal symptoms in those who want to stop smoking. The drug is used commonly for its mood-altering effects. Some of the side effects of the drug include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, dizziness, headaches, and insomnia.



Other street names for it include Mary Jane, kush, pot, marijuana, Eja, blaze, ganja, etc. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, is thought to have developed as a plant self-defense chemical and is found in some members of the hemp family of plants.

Marijuana is the most popular and likely most accessible illegal drug in the world. Among the common negative side effects of cannabis are; a changed state of awareness. The user might experience “high” feelings of extreme happiness, euphoria, relaxation, and sociability. Time and spatial perceptions are distorted. The user might feel more perceptive of their surroundings and have more acute tastes, sights, smells, and hearing.



Codeine, a drug related to morphine and heroin generated from the opium poppy, is being abused by Nigerian adolescents at an alarming rate. Lean, Codeine, or Coder, as it is affectionately known, has become a favourite among many drug users due to how simple it is to purchase over-the-counter at both large and local drug stores. Young folks frequently flavour it with soft drinks and take it with booze or drugs for an added kick.

 Codeine use frequently has side effects, such as sleepiness and constipation. Euphoria, itching, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, sadness, and coughing are less frequent side effects. A lean person may look to be sedated.

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Esther is versatile writer who thrives in writing top-notch long-form articles. She enjoys research and has an eye for details. She's currently a writer at BlackDot Media.
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