Finding Life Again

Abuja, 6 March, 2021-Twenty-seven-year-old Abdulhameed from Adamawa State, Nigeria, was born into a polygamous family. From a young age on, Abdulraheem was suffering from parental neglect. Abdulhameed said that his father once suggested that “I should be thrown into the refuse dump. I felt that all he wanted for me was death. He had no plans of anything good for me”. He found temporary relief from his depression when he started to use drugs, in particular tramadol. Eventually, however, the persistent emotional abuse caught up with him and he wanted to end his life by ingesting an overdose of tramadol.

Surviving by a shred, he met Christy, a primary health care worker in Adamawa State who participated in a drug use sensitization workshop organized by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with Grace Hope and Youth Foundation (GHYF) with funding from the European Union.

After the training, Christy’s relationship with drug dependents changed, “My relationship with drug dependents has changed. It has re-shaped my perception and engagement… it is very positive. I have been very kind with them” said Christy.

Under Christy’s guidance, Abdulhameed undertook treatment, received counseling and support, leading him to abstain from drug use. Abdulhammeed has experienced a behavioural change and has since returned to his family to live a normal life again. “I am willing to sensitize drug dependents because many don’t know the dangers involved, while some choose to ignore them. They need to be enlightened. Not everyone may be as lucky as I was” said Abdulhameed.

For Christy, the impact of the workshop has been profound. “It has changed a lot of narratives about drug dependents in this community. I am now a living testimony of how love and care for drug dependents can stir a change of heart and mentality”.

This story is part of a broader series on “Responding to the Drug Use Epidemic in Nigeria”. Click on the link below to read the previous story: