Welcome to myschoollibrary! Today’s lesson, we will be treating the topic “drug trafficking”. Previously, we looked at drug and substance abuse. Both have been a major issue being faced in the society. Let’s see how this issue can be addressed.
Subject: Social Studies
Topic: Drug Trafficking
Learning Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:
- Define the term drug trafficking.;
- State the consequences of drug trafficking;
- Mention the reasons for drug trafficking;
- State ways of preventing drug trafficking.
Drug trafficking can be defined as an illegal trade or movement (traffic) in dangerous drugs usually across national borders.
Drug Trafficking can also mean the growing, making, transporting, importing, exporting, storing and selling of illegal drugs or drugs prohibited by law. Drug trafficking has a worldwide market.
Reasons For Drug Trafficking
The main reasons for drug trafficking include poverty, laziness, ignorance of the stiff penalties of the law and greed. In terms of greed, people are too materialistic but too impatient to wait for the reward of honest labour. They want to get rich quick and at any cost.
In addition, the amount of money involved in the illegal trade in drugs is huge. Drug trafficking is a very lucrative business. The profit margin is very high. People are ready to take the risk of going to prison, of even losing their lives, because of the possibility of becoming very wealthy. Examples of drugs usually trafficked in are marijuana or hemp, cocaine and heroin.
Consequences of Drug Trafficking
The consequences of drug trafficking are many. For the individual, there is the danger of arrest and imprisonment. Some countries impose the death penalty for drug trafficking offences. Death or life imprisonment at an early age brings much disgrace to oneself and one’s family.
Another effect of drug trafficking is that those who use such illegal drugs have their behaviour altered or changed. They start to behave abnormally since they are under the influence or control of these harmful drugs. They are unkempt and dirty. Some youths who use these drugs are unable to complete their schooling and become a nuisance both to their families and the society at large.
Drug Trafficking leads to the formation of street gangs or ‘area boys’, as they are known in Nigeria. These gangs become rival groups against one another and fight for the control of the lucrative trade in drugs in their area. They extort money from the pubilc and motorists, and engege themselves in criminal activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, and even murder, thereby distributing the peace of the society.
Drug trafficking also leads to extra expenditure of scarce resources by government. Government would have to set up rehabilitation centres for drug addicts, training social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and other health workers to look after and help addicts kick the habit. The government would have to build more prisons to accommodate those found guilty of drug trafficking and other crimes related to it.
Drug trafficking also gives the country from which the trafficker originates a bad image which can create problems for it’s innocent citizens abroad.
Prevention of Drug Trafficking
A number of measures can be adopted to control or prevent drug trafficking. Below are some of them.
i. Education and Value Reorientation: Drug trafficking can be prevented through the education of citizens and young persons on the dangers and consequences of drug trafficking. This education should also be in the form of an ethical reorientation that would move people away from an excessive concentration on material things. In Nigeria, there seems to be too much emphasis on money and the possession of property as the mark of achievement. This is responsible for corruption among some public officials and it is also what drives many young people to a life of crime. It is, therefore, necessary to develop a different system of values in which the true worth or value of a person will be measured on the basis of their character.
ii. Poverty Alleviation Programmes: The establishment of Programmes that would alleviate poevrty will also reduce the desperation that drives some people into drug trafficking. Such poverty alleviation programmes should be able to provide or present people with a model of life that would enable them stay content with their achievements, however modest they may be.
iii. Legislation: Another way to prevent drug trafficking is to enact tougher laws against the practice. Drug trafficking involves the production and supply of dangerous psychotropic substances that are capable of harming the individual’s personality and destroying lives. There is therefore need for tough laws against drug trafficking. The establishment of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a step in the right direction.
iv. International Cooperation: There is also the need to strengthen greater international cooperation to ensure that culprits are apprehended or arrested wherever they may be. Sharing information by the drug law enforcement agencies of different countries will make it possible to prevent drug trafficking in the future.
Use the following questions to assess your knowledge of the lesson.
1. Define drug trafficking.
2. Why do people engage in drug trafficking despite strict penalties for offences?
3. What are the consequences of drug trafficking to both the individual and the society?
4. How can drug trafficking be prevented in your country?
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