Health experts, counsellors warn youths against using aphrodisiacs

Health experts and counsellors in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa have described youths and some male adults’ trending addiction to aphrodisiacs for sexual potency as harmful.

In separate interviews on Monday, they said the users’ conception that taking substances would increase their vitality and sexual prowess was worrisome.

The experts said many young men who use aphrodisiacs are ignorant of the health implications of their continued indulgence. They expressed worries that the dangers posed by the enhancements seemed to have reached a fever pitch, with several incidents resulting in shocking fatalities.

Johnbull Ebube, an Asaba-based nutritionist and health counsellor, said every drug, food or drink taken for activating the human sex hormones to function optimally has side effects.

“To some persons, it may come in the form of severe headache or general body weakness and to others, the reactions may come as dizziness or even brain damage.”

He warned that dependence on sex stimulants, drinks and foods negatively affects the human mental capacity to respond optimally to sex.

“Sex enhancement reduces the man in you to enjoy long-term pleasure and live younger and energetic as people grow old,” he added.

Gabriel Illobaechine, a 28-year-old graduate and a once serial user of aphrodisiac substances, said he was once an addict to sex drugs before he sought counselling from a medical doctor after he started having regular uneasiness.

He said, “when I was in school, I used Viagra, a sex enhancement drug, to motivate me.

“But sometime last year, I started having acute weakness and went for medical advice and confided in a doctor who advised me to stop taking drugs and eat more fruits and vegetables.”

Gbenga Oladipo, a dietician at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), corroborated Mr Ebube’s decision, saying that young people do not need to take aphrodisiacs.

Mr Oladipo said the situation where young people resort to hard drugs to boost their sexual performance was worrisome, owing to the adverse health implications.

Similarly, Bright Oniovokukor, the project manager of Indomitable Youth Organisation, said ignorance is the major cause of abuse of aphrodisiac drugs.

He said, “there is a high level of ignorance among those using aphrodisiacs; they are not aware of the consequences; there is a need for enlightenment about the side effects.”

A Yenagoa-based nutritionist, Phil Ebiowei, who disagreed less with Mr Oniovokukor’s submission, blamed uncontrolled advertorials by companies and marketers of the believed potency of these medications on social media networks as one of the promoters of abuse of aphrodisiacs.

Christiana Esenwah, a medical practitioner and deputy director of NAFDAC’s Directorate of Investigation and Enforcement, also cautioned against using sex-enhancement drugs.

She added that “although the National Agency duly registers some of these orthodox sex-enhancing medications for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), they are to be taken only by prescription, under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.