I was scrolling through TikTok the other day and I came across a video of a young man acting in a strange manner as if possessed. In curiosity, I went to the comment section in hopes of knowing the cause of his irrational behavior, however, instead of clarity,I was met with more confusion.
The comment section was filled with the phrase “on colos”,”on colos”. Looking back now,I laugh at my naviety because I got to know that it is a common slang among youths these days. I am sure you are wondering;What then is colos?
Cannabis Indica popularly known as Colorado,black Mumba or better still “colos” by Nigerian Youths is a drug made from synthetic plant. It contains metals with are laced with chemicals not suitable for human consumption.
In order to derive maximum satisfaction, Youths often mix it with weed.
It is a psychotropic drug often smoked by youths to invigorate them, brighten their spirits and most importantly make them “high”.
Individuals who consume colorado are often prone to : hallucinations, memory loss, restlessness, numbness, difficulty in breathing,mental challenges and in extreme cases,it can lead to death. The effects of Colorado can last up to 12 hours. It is classified alongside other substances such as nicotine and Marijuana. It is also referred to as “synthetic marijuana”.
In Nigeria ,due to the high rate of substance abuse by youths, individuals in the society no longer bat an eyelid when they see youths destroying their lives with such thoughtless and reckless lifestyle. About 70%–80% of youths in Nigeria especially the males take drugs. The Drug use and Health survey of 2018 states that 14.4% of the country’s drug use prevalence is almost three times the global average of 5.6%. This is quite alarming and disheartening.
Due to rise in the intake of Colorado,the phrase “on colos” had been formed. This signifies the state of being under the influence of the drug. Whenever an individual is seen behaving irrationally as a result of the drug, a group of youths will be heard chanting “on colos”,”on colos”. It has become so popular,glamourized and celebrated even though it passes the wrong message.
The phrase has been trending on all social media platforms most especially TikTok. This portrays Nigeria in a very negative light in the international community.
Growing up in a religious household, it came as a rude shock to me when I learnt that colorado has been around for a couple of years but gained popularity in late 2022 and came back with fire in early 2023.
After seeing videos of how people behave when under the influence of Colorado, I believe it is safe to say the the line between a mad person and one acting under the influence of Colorado is thin, extremely thin. people under the influence of colos can be seen ranting and shouting like a mad person,they are often violent and wound want to cause harm to themselves and those around them.
A person under the influence of Colorado just like any other hard drug finds it easier to commit crimes. According to the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),”90% of criminalities in Nigeria ranging from banditry,insurgency kidnapping and others can be linked to the use of illicit drugs”.
Intake of drugs lead to lack of productivity. A person who take drugs like Colorado is known to be unproductive. They find it hard to even land or keep a job!
Abuse of drugs increases ones chances of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDs. It can even lead to stroke or worse, cancer.
The intake of Colorado puts a strain on ones finances as it costs a fortune to maintain this ridiculously dangerous and expensive lifestyle.
Students who take drugs often find it hard to concentrate one school work. They find it difficult to make meaningful research and most often than not,end up leaving school without certificates.
Just like the saying “Birds of the same feathers flock together”, individuals who take Colorado often only associate with people who share same habits as they do. Due to their ill dispositions, people tend to give them a wide berth.
Drugs especially ones as potent and strong as Colorado can lead to death. Many youths and teenagers end up dying due to effects of the drug just like Joshua, a 17 year old boy who hailed from Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State. He died after smoking the dangerous substance.
With each day that passes, more youths turn to drug and substance abuse,this is quite terrifying.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that many African youths are turning to substance abuse. The United Nations (UN) also predicts that by 2030, the number of drug users in Africa will have increases substantially by 40%.
It is important to note that the abuse of drugs and substances cut across all ages, countries,socio economic status,gender,ethnic group, culture and regions. It is however,more prevalent among youths aged 15–39 years.
I feel sad that youths fail to learn from the experiences of others. They willingly put themselves in dangerous situations injurious to their health. As a student, I know how tiring and frustrating it gets at times but it is of utmost importance that this energy is channeled into something positive and productive. Do not let the situation you find yourself make you seek solace from drugs always remember “tough times do not last but tough people do.” Keep pushing.
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Stay healthy! stay safe!
By : Chiejine Chibuzor Divine