"Loneliness and boredom had crept in like a thief of the night, all from my years of being deprived access to other children.

"We were at our private property at Illasa Maja area of Lagos State and my mother thought the environment was crude for me to mix.

"My routine had been – From home to school and from school to my home again.

"There were no friends and I had kept up with it for years.

"One soothing relief I had received was my introduction to a multi-vitamin that made me dizzy and drags me into an unusual sweet sleep.

"My mother buys it for me," Ola an indigene Ogun State, told Bounce News' health Correspondent, Williams Osewezina.

The Lagos boy barely knew what it means to be brought up by a father and a mother.

He is now in Christ Against Drug Ministry's rehabilitation centre in Araga Epe area of Lagos State and he is overcoming his addiction.  

His past is one thing he still remembers as it chronicles his journey to the rehab.

Ola's parents had separated when he was very young, and his mother took responsibility of bringing him up.

Right there in Ilasa, Ola will watch other children play football, but his wish to join them was always hindered by the iron bars at the door which were always locked.


Chemicals like bicarbonate are added to cocaine

He was not sure why he was behind the bars in a free world where other children played outside.

The mother had not made out time to tell him the danger of being in the street and why he was being checked.

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She had not shared a glimpse of how to walk in the street and not be part of it, a possibility most children have also seen.  

Some 28 years ago, when Ola was preparing for his Secondary School Certificate Examination, his mother lowered the guards, since he needed to take extra lessons.

He was intelligent and at his new lesson spot, he was quickly identified by other boys who wanted to be around the special one.

"Those boys were free. They can do anything and I felt the kind of freedom I had never felt before when I mixed with them," he said.

"Weeks of being together began to grow into fondness that could not let me say 'no' the first time I was offered a cigarette. I thought to myself, 'If these children could take this cigarette, nothing stops me from taking it'."

Ola was gradually walking into what he called a global conspiracy to destroy youths who lacked the ability to say NO to drugs.

His mother had noticed he was gradually becoming a 'bad boy' and insisted that they leave Ilasa, but the habit had already passed that stage relocation could kill

After his JAMB examination, he was 18 and he got admission into Lagos Polytechnic to study Chemical Engineering at Ikosi Campus and his habit for smoking also advanced.

He could finish a pack of cigarette and buy four more sticks before the end of the day and that he held on for two semesters.

Cigarette could no longer put him in the mood he wanted to be. Stepping up to something higher was all he could hear the voices in his head say.

Friends he had made helped him identify a place he could get cocaine around Shitta in Surulere where they (Ola and his mother) had moved to.

It was expensive, but Ola could afford it because he earned salary for teaching in his mother’s school established at the building they were staying at Ilasa. His mother had converted the building to a school.

He was fuelling his habit with his wages.

Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry rehabilitation
Over 80 persons are at the moment undergoing rehabilitation programme offered free

“When my mother noticed I was into drugs, she cut ties with me and stopped me from coming to the school just to make sure I do not have money to buy crack. But that was not enough to stop the urge in me,” he said.

He had to satisfy 'joyson' (a name drug users call the urge they get) and he had to do it somehow.

Ola began to sit around the joint, waiting for guys to buy and give him little to smoke.

After a few weeks, the drug dealer called him and offered him a job. "Sell for me  and I will pay you," he quoted the dealer as saying. 

That marked his journey into the dealing of drugs.

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Knowing that it will mean making some money and also having crack to smoke, Ola grabbed the offer and started his new job of distributing cocaine and weed around the area.

“Everyday, I make some money, but the money I make, I ended up using it to smoke,” he said, shaking his head and wishing that those were never part of his life.

Ola had obtained his OND at the Lagos polytechnic and needed to further his education.

He got admission into Olabisi onabanjo University to study Mathematics Education.  

"When I got to school, I had mastered the act of cutting weed and tying it. I met a dealer in Ijabu Ugbo. I started with him and the work I did for him was to transport from his base to other places," he said.

Ola's exploit in the illicit trade, which is now part of his past has resulted in his mastery of what a real hemp and crack looked like.

He told Bounce News that the crack out there is nothing near what the real thing is.

"There is no real drug out there. All we have is just cooked chemicals. Yes! I have sold for people and I know what they do. They have to mix with some other highly harmful chemicals like bicarbonate (popularly called baking powder) just to meet up with their quantity. No more quality market," he said. 

Ola has seen people inhale substance and die instantly and he says it is usually because the substance has been mixed with all sought of chemicals that can kill in minutes.