In recent years, a concerning trend has emerged as the popularity of a particular marijuana strain known as “Colorado” has skyrocketed among the country’s youth. Referred to as “Colos” in street slang, this potent drug has been wreaking havoc on the lives of Nigeria’s young population, prompting grave concerns and calls for action.
Colorado, originating from the United States, is notorious for its high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric and mind-altering effects of marijuana. Its potency has made it an attractive choice for those seeking a more intense high, giving rise to the street slang “On Colos” to describe being under its influence with videos trending on the internet of youths standing while sleeping, swimming in gutters and other injurious activities.
Regrettably, this growing fascination with Colorado has had severe consequences, as the lives of Nigeria’s youth are being negatively impacted by its use. Many individuals have fallen into the clutches of addiction, derailed mental health conditions and experienced significant setbacks in various aspects of their lives.
Speaking about the devastating effects of “Colos,” Edobor Osaro, a concerned parent, expressed his distress, saying, “I’ve witnessed firsthand the destructive power of this Colorado. My son used to be a promising student, but ever since he got caught up in On Colos, his life has spiraled out of control. I’m still in shock, I barely recognize him anymore.”
The addiction crisis stemming from the popularity of Colorado is alarming. Nigeria’s healthcare system is struggling to cope with the rising number of addiction cases, and limited resources are available for treatment and rehabilitation. Consequently, young individuals find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle, desperately trying to break free from the clutches of this very potent drug.
Mariam Olusegun, a social worker at a rehabilitation center, lamented the dire situation, saying, “We’re seeing a surge in admissions related to Colorado addiction. These young people come to us seeking help, but the road to recovery is long and challenging. We need more support and resources to effectively tackle this crisis.”
Beyond addiction, the health risks associated with the “on Colos” trend are significant. Prolonged and excessive use of high-potency marijuana strains like Colorado can lead to a range of physical and mental health issues. Many experts and healthcare professionals are raising concerns about the long-term impact on cognitive function and mental well-being.
Reflecting on the health risks, Dr. Fatima Okonkwo, a psychiatrist, stated, “The use of Colorado is particularly concerning due to its high THC levels. Research has shown that frequent use can lead to cognitive impairments, increase the risk of mental health disorders, and hinder individuals’ overall functioning and potential.”
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions are working together to combat the Colorado crisis. These stakeholders are focusing on raising awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, expanding counseling and rehabilitation programs, and implementing stricter drug control measures to curb the proliferation of such strains within the country.
Victor Adekunle, a community leader, stressed the importance of community engagement, saying, “We need to come together as a community to tackle the Colorado problem. It’s not just about law enforcement but also providing support, guidance, and education to our youth. Only through collective efforts can we create a safer and healthier environment for our future generations.”
As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by Colorado, it serves as a stark reminder of the need for comprehensive drug policies, improved access to healthcare and rehabilitation services, and a collaborative approach involving all segments of society. By addressing this issue head-on, Nigeria can work towards a brighter future where the damaging impact of Colorado is mitigated, allowing its youth to reclaim their lives.