Chapter One


Mkpuru mmiri is the slang coined from the Igbo language, which is loosely translated as ‘seed of water’.

In reality, it is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen, medically known as Methamphetamine or by its street name Crystal Meth. It has a chalk-like crystal form and can sometimes be blue hence the name ‘mkpuru mmiri’.

It is a man-made drug developed during World War II, used by soldiers to stay awake or carry out dangerous suicidal missions.

Its highly addictive nature makes a chemically similar drug, amphetamine – used to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder – highly regulated and only available by prescription.

Background of the study

Mkpuru Mmiri known as Methamphetamine (MA) use and abuse is a major public health concern in Nigeria as well as the United States (NIDA, , ; DASIS, ). MA’s primary mechanism of action is on the brain dopamine (DA) system, resulting in high abuse potential, neurotoxic effects on the DA system, and behavioral and cognitive impairments in adults (Sulzer et al., ). Historically, MA was primarily used by adults and was not commonly used by adolescents, but in more recent years the demographic profile of MA use has widened to include adolescents (Rawson et al., ; Gonzales et al., ).

Epidemiological research suggests that compared to other drugs of abuse, adolescent mkpuru mmiri use is relatively low in Nigeria except in South East where its use is reportedly high raising public helth concerns (Vangaurd 2021).

 In a Survey conducted by Projectstore in 2021 shows 95% of youths in South East have heard about mkpuru mmiri (projectstore survey, 2021).

While much research has focused on the effects of adult MA use, relatively no research has examined the effects of mkpuru mmiri use on the academic performance of secondary school students hence the present study.

Statement of the Problem

The history of the human race has also been the history of drug use. In itself, the use of drugs does not constitute an evil. Drugs properly administered have served as medical blessings. For example, herbs, roots, bark, leaves and plant have been used to relieve pains and help control diseases.  People have used different kinds of drugs to change the way they feel or see the world. Drugs and how they are used also have different meanings in different cultures. For example in the Pacific Islands, kava is drunk as a means of making contact with the supernatural, to welcome visitors to the community and to cure illnesses. Some Native American Indians use a mushroom that causes dream-like states as a way of getting in touch with the Great Spirit. We use alcohol, cola nut and tobacco to celebrate special events like birthdays and weddings. Drug can be used positively as medicine for the treatment of diseases, correction of body abnormalities and for the celebration of special events.

Regrettably, the reverse is the case when people including secondary school students use drugs for other purposes other than the ones highlighted above. Such purposes include calming themselves from their worries; changing the way they feel, think or behave, tension reduction/relaxation. According to Onyemachi (2004) secondary school students have used drugs including pain relieving drugs, alcohol, cigarette and marijuana to relieve pain, to feel good, to sleep, and relax, to keep awake during exams and calm their worries about grades or career and to effect relief from the burden of underlying problems rather than confronting them practically and realistically. He posited that the solace found in drugs often develops into an abuse of drugs. Epidemiological survey in Nigeria, as indicated in the literature shows that drug abuse is common among secondary school students and is one of the most disturbing health related problems among the adolescents. One area of concern in Nigeria is the extent at which adolescents in the secondary schools abuse drugs including adolescents in Ezza North secondary schools. The socio-cultural activities such as traditional wrestling, traditional dances, masquerade cult, new yam festival and other festivals existing in the area, when ongoing, predisposes them to be more vulnerable to excessive illicit drug use and abuse.

Though the extent of drug abuse is unknown in Nigeria, there is considerable evidence that the problem of drug abuse may well be growing among secondary school students in both the rural and urban areas of Nigeria. This has prompted the researcher to investigate the Effect Of Mkpuru Mmiri Among Secondary School Students In South-East Nigeria.

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  • Chapter 1-5
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