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Taiwo's Cannabis Addiction Story

This is Taiwo Adebosipo Adejare, the 28 year old heir, to the Adejare Real Estate dynasty. Taiwo Adejare as the name implies in the South- West region of Nigeria, is the first born of a set of twins, having been delivered via cesarean section, a couple minutes before his sister Kehinde Adebusola being precious babies. Kehinde is soon to be Mrs Akin-Lewis in a few months' time. As a matter of fact, it is Kenny’s (as she is fondly called) wedding introduction today. The families of Adejare and Akin-Lewis will be formally introduced today, in a very intimate but glamorous ceremony as part of Kenny’s upcoming wedding ceremonies. But the Adejare family are nursing a silent fear, hoping and praying that the planned activities would go well without any disruption from Taiwo. Going back memory lane, the Adejare twins made their appearance in this world, at a time, their parents were about giving up on the possibility of ever birthing a child of their own. After trying for several years and repeatedly being told by doctors, both locally and in foreign hospitals that “there was no identifiable reason medically why they weren’t getting pregnant”, Ademola and Faramade Adejare, threw themselves into building their careers. They had the resources to but rejected all counsels by their fertility doctors to try IVF or any other assisted reproductive technology that could improve their chances of having a baby. The Adejare twins finally came in the 10th year of their parent’s marriage and were the only children they would ever have. After that pregnancy, another one didn't happen for Faramade and her husband again. They were very grateful though, from not having any child for a whole decade, to having two healthy and perfect children overnight indeed, they could not have been blessed beyond this. In present day, they sat at the very top of a very successful real estate business in Abuja with branches in many states of the country.

Early childhood and growing up for the twins had been positively eventful. They had the best and tastiest of everything money could buy including the choice of schools and travels. Although their parents were very busy, building their business empire, Taiwo and Kehinde had each other to rely on and could be considered as each other’s best friend, their different genders did not get in the way of the special bond they shared. They had been able to maintain this closeness until the last 5 years or so. Kehinde was now reeling and struggling to accept this new reality of her beloved brother, being a drug addict. She had pleaded with him to stop smoking Colorado and Arizona (preparations of marijuana) and whatever else it was that had taken over him and left in its wake this unrecognizable Taiwo. On countless occasions she had cried and starved herself to his knowledge o, threatened to de-sister him, ignored him and his calls, but nothing seemed to be working. Taiwo after crying and apologising and promising her and their parents that he would not go back to smoking cannabis (his main vice now), he did just that!. The truth is she never could stop blaming herself too…..

Maybe if she hadn’t asked Taiwo to accompany her to that pool party many years ago, none of this would be playing out. They had gone to the party together, as they always did everything together anyway and had jointly decided to smoke their first ever pot that day. But whilst it had been a very unpleasant experience for her,......she had felt her heart racing like it was about to jump out from her chest, she could swear that the people in the room took up different forms and shapes and their voices echoed weirdly when they spoke to her. She had been convinced that she was losing her mind and quickly handed it over to Taiwo, never to try it again! It had been a totally frightening and horrible experience for her. However, the reverse was the case for Taiwo. He thoroughly enjoyed the first puffs after he tried it, she remembered the silly grin on his face that day, and in no time he was ‘high’ and trying to hug and talk every girl in the party to become his girlfriend. She had been shocked and alarmed at his inappropriate behaviour that day! Taiwo was a very reserved, well composed, and an almost shy person. That day she saw a different person from who she had known all her life and she definitely did not like this Taiwo. Later on, Taiwo would tell her that after the first few drags, he felt unusually confident and bold enough to talk to all those girls, he ended it by saying he liked better, this new Taiwo he could transform into after smoking a joint.

Unfortunately, 8 years later, his use of substances had grown, he had experimented with all sorts of illicit drugs and was now very homely with this habit that was almost wrecking his life. She on her own part, had never been able to forgive herself for the decision to attend her friend’s 20th birthday party with Taiwo and what she thought at the time to be a harmless act...'trying pot’, afterall everyone was doing it at the party, had turned out to be the biggest mistake, still hunting them till date. How was she to know her best friend and dearest brother would lose himself into the habit of drugs after that first puff? His habit had been aided by the widespread availability of drugs. It was a miracle that he had been able to graduate from the University with a third class. He spent the years in the company of the wrong crowd, wasting his precious hours getting high on the next new illicit drug invented. Their parents were so disappointed in him, and on the verge of disowning him.

Back to this day of Kenny’s introduction, Taiwo could feel some of the pent up frustration leaving his body as he took the last drag of his 2nd Colorado joint that afternoon. It made him feel a lot different though, it was not as relaxing as the one he got from his regular supplier, this one was from a new dealer he had been forced to find online during the COVID-19 lockdown. He really could not fathom why anyone one would think that smoking cannabis was bad for him. Whenever he smoked, he didn't feel so much like the failure everyone made him out to be. And they let him be! Maybe they were afraid of him, whenever he had been smoking but they let him be and do not judge every action of his.

Right now he had major things to worry about. It was his twin sister’s introduction ceremony and he had promised Kenny to be on his best behavior and even lied to her that he had not smoked any joint in the last few weeks to which She had replied with “I believe you”. He had also lied to his girlfriend that he hadn’t smoked for a while, when she called to check up on him and ask about the preparations for the ceremony. With both families gaily dressed and sitted in the magnificently decorated hall, he felt really anxious and caged, and every look in his direction felt like they were comparing him with his twin sister who was taking the bold step into matrimony, while he was on and off with his own girlfriend. Tito, the girlfriend, was currently in Europe, rounding up her master’s degree in Architecture and a large chunk of their now very frequent quarrels, could be attributed to his drug use habit. She was going to be done with him, anytime now.

In all honesty, he had really tried to not draw any negative attention to himself at the event but when he had only meant to spray Kenny, with some mint one- thousand naira notes as she danced in, as he raised his agbada to remove some wads from his pocket, a whole stash of freshly rolled cannabis joints poured out of the nylon, right in the view of everyone present. The embarrassing silence that followed it could be pricked with a knife. Punctuated with gasps, whispers and alarmed exclamations from his parents, and others whose voices he couldn’t really make out, as he quickly scrambled about to pick them off the floor one after the other. The incident was recorded by friends who had meant to document Kehinde’s day of joy to a live audience on instagram and snapchat.

Taiwo suddenly became sober and clear eyed with a regret filled realization that he had disgraced his twin sister on a day that should have easily been, one of the best days of her life, in front of her in-laws and the whole world!. Back to his seat now, his mother’s sunken face flashed before his eyes and he remembered the tears his father hurriedly wiped away as he looked in their direction, right after the horrifying incident happened.

That was when he decided that he had to do better for himself and for everyone he claimed he loved… Kenny, Tito and most especially his parents. He could not continue to be a sore topic on the lips of extended family, and to his parents, they deserved better after everything they had invested into him, to have a beautiful life and one day take over the family’s business empire. At almost 30 years old, he was meant to be proceeding well in his career, but he knew that the only reason he had a job was because he had a father who could retain him on a payroll, and also the fact that he was being groomed to take over from him one day. What a huge disappointment he had been to them.

Truth be told, he knew the day would come when he would have to have this honest conversation with himself. He had tried to stop the habit of using the substances from time to time to no avail. He remembered how he had tried cigarettes and Alcohol too, then at some point maintained regular use of Alcohol, marijuana, rohypnol and even codeine. He also tried cocaine and heroin on a few occasions but luckily had been able to stay away from them before they became a problem. But his main substance of abuse had always been cannabis. With this colossal shame he has brought upon himself in the presence of family, friends, his girlfriend watching on zoom, he finally acknowledged and mouthed the words for the first time…. “I, Taiwo Adebosipo Adejare need help”. He thought about how he had not been able to forge ahead with his own life because of his drug use habit, his finances were a total mess, the only good thing he had going for him is his girlfriend Tito, who has now given him the ultimatum of 6months to shape up or lose her.

He started making research about drug rehabilitation programs he could enrol himself in urgently. His family joined him on a search for an effective treatment plan and were able to get him the contact of a well known mental health expert. It's been over two months of stay in an in-patient rehabilitation facility, and he is even more proud to know that he has been sober for the same amount of time. He definitely thought it to be a step in the right direction. He still gets the craving for colorodo and arizona from time to time, but he knows he is in the best hands to help him beat it, by God’s special grace. Hearing the names SK, colorado, arizona, monkey tail and the likes now, always sends him into a fit of laughter… in God’s sacred name did he get himself hooked on them?!

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