Causes And Consequences Of Drug Abuse And Misuse-Use Among Secondary School Student A Study Of Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State
1.1 Background to the Study
Since the early times, herbs, leaves and plants have been used to heal and control diseases. The use of drugs in itself does not constitute any danger, because drugs correctly administered have been a blessing. Falco (1988) as cited by Sambo (2008) viewed that “chronic use of substances can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescent’s physical and psychological development. The use of drugs could be beneficial or harmful depending on the mode of use.
Drug is any chemical substance derived from plants, animals or mineral resources, be it traditional or orthodox which is used for internal application to the human body in the treatment of diseases, reduce pain or modify the functions of the various system of the body.
Although drug use has been in for years, the problem of drug abuse has been on the increase in the recent years. Drug is supposed to be dispersed by pharmacists with a doctor’s prescription and usage of drug can be through any of the following; injection, insertion, inhalation, massaging or application on open wounds and cuts. The main purpose of drugs should in reality be directed to its medical functions and it should be used strictly according to the prescription of medical doctors, but in most cases people use drug without the prescription of medical practice. This is referred to as drug abuse. In some cases, these drugs are used wrongly or misused that is using drug meant for certain purposes for other purposes rather than what it is meant for. There are other cases where some people get themselves involved in the use of a particular drug so much that they cannot do without such drug. In this case such a person is said to be addicted to that drug.
Cecilia (2010) opined that medically, drug abuse is the use of drug to an extent that it produces definite impairment of social, psychological or physiological functioning of the user. It is the use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. It refers to the use of a drug for purposes for which it is not intended or using a drug in excessive quantities. Such drugs of abuse include tobacco, barbiturates, amphetamines and narcotics. Drug abuse entails a strong cultural and subjective bias, depends on whether a society at a particular point in time views the use of a particular drug as acceptable or not. Therefore, what is regarded as normal use as against pathological abuse varies greatly from drug, quantity, situation to situation, culture to culture or even among subcultures of the same society.
Furthermore, NAFDAC (2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) explained the term drug abuse as excessive and persistent self-administration of a drug without regard to the medically or culturally accepted patterns. It could also be viewed as the use of a drug to the extent that it interferes with the health and social function of an individual.
It has been observed that much of drugs use among youths take place in schools. The incidence of substance use among students is called high or highness (Eneh and Stanley, 2004). Drug and alcohol use during adolescence is almost always a social experience and a learned behaviour (Swaid 1988). One of the important psychological phenomena observed during this period of adolescence is experimentation (Graham, Turk and Verhulst 1999). This behaviour has been found to lead to the trying out of new experiences such as drug and sex, sometimes with dire consequence for the adolescents.
“The growing trend in abuse and production of psychotropic drugs must be reversed…..we must never give in to the human toll illegal drugs are taking on our societies. There are 21 million victims around the world who abuse cocaine and heroin, and 30 million who abuse amphetamine type stimulants. We cannot ease their suffering, or that of their loved ones, unless we fight this.” Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, at the opening of the General Assembly’s 1998 Special Session on World’s Drug Problem. We all face challenges that provide many opportunities for growth and change.
Among these are decisions regarding the role that alcohol and other drugs will have in your life. Odejide (2000) warned that drug abusers who exhibit symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, behaviour changes, fatigue and loss or increase in appetite should be treated by medical experts and counsellors to save them from deadly diseases.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Drug abuse is a general problem in Nigeria today especially in areas where there is no adequate supervision i.e. monitoring of students and effective usage of punishment for deviant behaviours. Recently NDLEA officials reported cases of secondary school students in possession of Indian Hemp. Umuahia North local government Area, has experienced rapid growth of population in recent years, the increasing demand for education has led to more secondary schools being formed. Due to the rapid development, drug use has become common among students in school and home environment and is even affecting their performances in class. Despite the worldwide concern and education about the dangers of drug abuse, most of the students have limited knowledge of how dangerous the habit is (Ngesu, 2008).Many students have dropped out of school and others opted to engage in criminal activities thus endangering the lives of the people living in Umuahia North. The young generation no longer has role models since most of the young Adults are unemployed and under the influence of this drugs.
Despite the government’s concern and heightened campaigns against the vice among secondary school students, there exists a parallel accelerated rate of students who are illicit drug users. Although, students are expected to be aware of the effects of drug abuse and commit themselves to their studies, the habit still exist default of their prior expected awareness of its consequences. Although excessive use of illicit drugs is prevalent in all societies, students with no exception, none of critical studies on factors influencing and prevention of drug abuse, its prevalence comparing schools youth is yet to be conducted in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State (Halimat, 2016). This has been established from a thorough search in the archives and libraries so as to ascertain originality of this study. This has been a green field of research that has greatly prompted the choice Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State as the location of the study.
This study therefore, intended to establish the correlation between academic performance and the use of drugs in secondary schools in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State. Behaviour is a major aspect of life, after observing students behaviour when under the influence of this drugs this study would recommend ways of rehabilitating those already affected and ways of eradicating drug peddling business going on at our schools. The study would also propose policy recommendations to mainstream drug related projects to secure students’ rights to education and the entire young generation.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate Causes And Consequences Of Drug Abuse And Misuse-Use Among Secondary School Student A Study Of Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State.
The specific objectives of the Study are as follows, which to;
- Identify the factors causing increase in the rate of Drug abuse among secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State;
- Ascertain the types of drugs abused by secondary schooL students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State;
- Assess the influence of drug abuse on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State;
- Determine preventive measures of curbing drug abuse among secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State.
1.4 Research Questions
This study would provide answers to the following research questions:
- What are the factors causing increase in the rate of Drug abuse among secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State;
- What are the types of drugs abused by secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State;
- What are the influence of drug abuse on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State;
- What are the preventive measures of curbing drug abuse among secondary school students in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State.
1.5 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study is designed to cover the entire students in Secondary School in Umuahia North L.G.AAbia.
This research work would focus its effort towards obtaining Causes And Consequences Of Drug Abuse And Misuse-Use Among Secondary School Student A Study Of Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State., Moreso suitable suggestion and recommendation to solve the identified problem would be provided in the course of the research work.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study would be useful to the Parents, Community, Student, School Administrators and Government. The study will help reveal the influence of major drugs on students’ academic performance and in their behaviour aspects. There are many parents and teachers with questions as to why their students don’t perform as expected, the government is also looking for explanations as to why the youth are not innovative and as to why most of them drop out of school.
Umahia North LGA, like many other area councils in Abia, Nigeria, is faced with the social problem of high rates of drug abuse. To make matters worse, the percentage of drug abusers in the population increases yearly despite the efforts to eradicate the problem. Failure to solve this problem not only threatens the life of individuals, but also the economic and social development of the country as a whole. The current study is useful in contributing to the general body of knowledge in this area. Beyond that, however, it also explores the potential of secondary schools to curb the drug problem.
The study would help to make local government; administrators, local community as well as students aware of the factors hindering the effectiveness of the approaches which attempt to curb drug abuse and, where possible, create opportunities to eradicate the problem. The proposed programme would be useful in educating all youths and adults in Abia state, on the risks of drug consumption. Thus, this study would play an important role in reducing, or even preventing high rates of drug use and abuse. Based on the findings, recommendations will be made. If followed, these recommendations would be useful to administrators and local government in curbing drug abuse in schools through improving existing educational programmes, and striving to develop ones that are even more efficient. A part from proposing more effective preventive measures in relation to drug abuse, the study will also provide a background for other studies in its prevention. This would help in promoting a drug-free school environment and better academic performance, thus improving the standards of education in the county. In the absence of specific policies on substance abuse in schools this study will make important recommendations on the way forward.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
In this study, there are certain words that need to be simplified or defined in order to make its meaning clearer.
Drugs: Drug is any chemical substance that is derived from plants and animals or mineral resources be it traditional or orthodox which is used for internal or external application to the human body in the treatment of diseases or to induce clam, reduce pains or modify the functions of the various system of the body.
Substance: Substance are chemical combination of drugs in order words drug made up of combination of chemical substance and substance can as well be refer to as those build up charge like alcohol, tobacco, cigarette and kolanuts.
Drug use: Drug use is the ingestion, injection or the application of any substances which when taken in into the body of living organism may modify one or more of its function, this includes not only medical also intended primarily active substance.
Drug misuse: Is the over zealous or indiscrete administration of drugs by using drug meant for certain purposes for another purpose rather than what it is meant for.
Drug addiction: Drug addiction is the dependence on a substance with the presence of physical withdrawal symptoms.
Psychoactive drugs: This is defined as in alternating drugs.
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