The causes of drugs and substance abuse by women in Bauchi metropelis


The causes of drugs and substance abuse by women in Bauchi metropelis


The Causes Of Drugs And Substance Abuse By Women In Bauchi Metropelis


Background to the Study


Alcohol is as old as human history; its existence in different socio-cultural milieus extends beyond the last ten thousand years (Smart, 2007). Globally, its production and consumption is organized around social, recreational,political, medicinal and religious activities. Alcohol is a common feature in social gatherings such as  parties, births, weddings and family get-togethers. It is also consumed during and after recreational activities such as skiing and golf and while watching sports events (Engs, 1997). In Central Africa, political occasions such as the making of war or peace, settling disputes, evoking courage in battle and enthronements were marked using alcohol (Bowdich, 1966). Engs (1997) further notes that, as medicine, alcohol was, and still is, prescribed to stimulate sluggish appetites, as a sedative to induce sleep, and as a vasodilator in arteriosclerosis. It relieves vague aches and pains that beset the elderly and is also used as an aphrodisiac. In religion, wine is used in modern day Christian ceremonies where it is taken as a sacrament during worship.


The consumption of alcohol has been considered normal, especially when drank without outright intoxication (Smart, 2007). Anciently across the globe, its consumption was considered a manly behavior, playing a central role in regulation of masculinity (Gustafsson, Malmberg, Sperkova, Keresztesova, 2010). Studies indicate that women too have generally consumed alcohol since antiquity. For instance, those in medieval Europe consumed regulated amounts of alcoholic beverages, mainly ale, beer and wine as part of their daily diets, and ale brewing was a career for women (Plant, 1955). Mexicans confined it to the upper classes, the old and the wise, while younger women consumed it after child delivery to ‗strengthen their blood and after exhausting work to ‗restore their strength‘ (Natera, 1995).Hornik (1977) observes that original Americans such as the Red Indians allowed women to consume it to ease menstrual cramps, and after child birth to fortify them for breast feeding. The implications are that while men drank routinely, women‘s Binge drinking was regulated and perhaps their intake was lower.



The gap that existed in drinking behavior between the genders is however, growing smaller as some women‘s drinking patterns are heavier and more frequent, converging with men‘s (The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), 1998). World Health Organization, (WHO) (2007), observes that drinking thus severely impairs their performance as parents and spouses, affecting the stability of the household. This makes such families fragile and its members vulnerable to harm. WHO therefore, identifies parental substance misuse as a public health concern; whose effects on the children remain a pertinent public health issue.


Children are more susceptible to child abuse including incest and battery when raised by parents who consume alcohol regularly. A study conducted in USA by Dube, Anda, Felliti, Chapman, Williamson, Wayne, and Giles (2001), on parents who abuse alcohol, established that children are exposed to physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Such parents become inconsistent, unpredictable and are emotionally unresponsive, which leads to neglectful, passive or even cruel parenting, where children are not supervised or supported and parents are not there for them (Sher, Gershuny, Peterson, &Raskin, 1997; US Department of Health and HumanServices (HHS), 1997). The authors suggest that children of problem drinkers often experience long-term psychological effects well into adulthood (Alcohol Concern & the Princess Royal Trust for Cares, 2008).



Alcohol is a major cause of intra family violence. WHO (2004) opines that excessive alcohol use is a strong and consistent correlate of marital violence. Leonard and Roberts (1998), in an experiment on couples in USA observed that Binge drinking by both the wife and the husband increased negative interactions during a problem–solving task leading to violence. A large-scale study conducted in India on the impact of use of alcohol and drugs on the family members perceived that domestic violence was common and was perpetrated by non-drug or non alcohol abusing husbands of the women who habitually consume it as a measure to make them quit (Dhital, Subedi, Gurung and Hamal, 2001).

In India, Dhital et al. (2001) were of the view that alcohol misuse perpetuates poverty and indebtedness, loss of social prestige and bad relationship with neighbours. Women in Aizawl and Delhi took to casual sex work to support their alcohol and drug habit since poverty had impoverished them and they received little support from their relatives, husbands or friends (ibid). In USA, problem drinking was indicated to alter the division of labour as the problem drinker ceased to perform her previous functions in relation to the support and supervision of children, household chores or recreational activities. These were either not performed or were performed by the spouse or the eldest child, which affected the child‘s education and peer relationships as the child was not able to go out with friends (Alcohol Concern, 2010). On the other hand, the non-drinking spouse grew into a compulsive care-taker and developed feelings of resentment, self-pity and exhaustion (Parsons, 2013).



Sher, Gershuny, Peterson &Raskin (1997) also noted that Binge drinking disrupts the family in ways such as a lack of routine and mealtimes, school and bedtimes fail to be observed as the problem drinker becomes unpredictable and impairs the family‘s capacity to plan activities. It becomes impossible to be sure whether the problem drinker will be in a position to perform her duties as expected. Parsons (2013) therefore, opines that divorce rates among couples where one or both partners drink are quite high as the marriage suffers increased anger and distress, reduced intimacy and sexual desire and poor spousal communication (Dhitalet al., 2001; WHO, 1995).



In Nigeria, alcohol was brewed for ceremonies  like  weddings,  initiation  and even during naming of children where beer had a symbolic function, that of blessing (Birech, Kabiru, Misaro and Kariuki, 2013).It was consumed at home after work, except for special occasions (Ibid). However, it is now the most commonly abused substance with its consumption totaling up  to  4  million people (Ibid).

It is against this background that the study focused on causes of drugs and substance abuse by women in Bauchi metropelis

Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, reports of people‘s lives destroyed by hard drugs and other substance are rampant . The problem of drug abuse has taken root in Nigeria with men abandoning family responsibilities due to drug abuse. Evidence shows that the problem has  grown deeper  with women of all ages consuming  alcohol in the Nigeria. This sometimes goes on a whole day and alcohol is readily available, accessible and affordable. Precisely, one cannot talk about family and exclude the high centrality mothers evince in homes than fathers. When Binge drinking sets on one whom the society grants such multiple roles like a mother,then it raises the question of how this  impacts  on  the  whole family. Research has been done related to alcohol abuse among youth, students and men, particularly how their Binge drinking affect families. In  all manner of likelihood, a drunkard woman‘s alcohol use has had a direct negative impact on the family just like, or more than a  man‘s. This  was the key concern of this study.



Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to investigateThe causes of drugs and substance abuse by women in Bauchi metropelis

The study have the following specific objectives;

  1. To investigate the patterns of drugs and substance abuse by women  in Bauchi metropelise
  2. To establish factors that motivate women drug abuse.
  3. To investigate the effects of drug abuse by women on family cohesion .
  4. To investigate the effect of drug abuse by women on child care and upbringing.
  5. To identify possible ways of addressing excessive alcohol use by women in Nigeria.