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INCIDENT, CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND EFFECT OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG NIGERIA YOUTHS

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 81  |  1334 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

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INCIDENT, CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND EFFECT OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG NIGERIA YOUTHS

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

Drug abuse among Nigerian youth has been a scourge to the overall sustainable development of the nation. Substance abuse is a serious issue; a global and international issue particularly in developing countries like Nigeria. Drug abuse is also a major public health, social and individual problem and is seen as an aggravating factor for economic crises; hence, for Nigeria’s poverty status. While youth are supposed to be the major agent of change and development, some of them have been destroyed by drug abuse (rendering them unproductive). Drug abuse has become a global concern in Nigeria because of its effect on youth and the nation as a whole. Drug abuse has a negative impact on the education of undergraduates in different universities across the globe. The overall health of the user is affected negatively and behaviours associated with drug abuse predispose the abuser to crime and contagious diseases including HIV/AIDS (Center for Disease Control, 2000).

Educational stakeholders like parents, teachers and the society at large are worried over the prevalence of drug abuse and its causes and consequences on the undergraduates of the University of Ilorin in Kwara State. Drugs are produced for a variety of different reasons including those associated with ensuring a state of wellbeing, curing illness, and sustaining mental and physical stability. Modern medical substances commonly known as ‘medicine’ (many derived from plants), do not constitute any danger. If properly administered, drugs can assist human beings in many positive ways. The term ‘drug’ refers to “any substance, when taken into a living organism, limits ill-health”, however if drugs are abused, they can become very “destructive to the individual and to society at large”. A drug is a chemical modifier of the living tissues that could bring about physiological, sociological and behavioural changes (Nnachi, 2007; Okoye, 2001). Drugs, are substances which, when taken, can limit cognition, perception, mood, behaviour and overall body function. It can also produce a change in biological functions through its chemical actions (Balogun, 2006). A drug is used for reasons such as curing or alleviating pain and diagnosing ill-health and is seen as a common process in many communities.

Studies by Kypri, Cronin and Wright (2005), and Melchior, Chastang, Goldberg and Fombonne (2008) submitted that across the countries of the world, drug abuse tends to be rampant among youngsters between the ages of 18 and 25 (the current age of university undergraduates). Falco (2008) stated that the chronic use of drugs can cause serious damage, sometimes irreversible physical and social damage (either temporarily or for a long period of time). Internal damage could result as well. To this effect, some of these undergraduates, who are still in their growing stage, become insane, socially misfit in school situations and eventually drop out of school. The misuse of medication, self-medication and the use of illegal substances is called Drug Abuse. Some of these substances in the form of medication give pleasure to the user and some brain nerves becomes the end user (which is known as pleasurable pathways). The user at first may enjoy it and will want to experience the sensation again (Seraphim, 2005). A person who allows himself/herself to be controlled by a psychoactive substance is called a ‘drug abuser’ (Merck, 2009). A drug abuser brings forth a condition called neurological functions and his/her moods, perception, consciousness, and energy levels change and the drugs can take over his/her normal functioning and well-being (King, 2008). The negligent use of any substance, mostly the ones that have effects on one’s consciousness like alcohol, cocaine, codeine, and methamphetamines results in discomfort and malfunction (Merck, 2009). The following habits were noted by Santrock (2001) and Nyaga (2001) by those who abuse substances - they exhibit watering eyes and nose, become abnormally talkative or unusually quiet, experience unpredictable tempers, their concentration lapses and they have a loss of interest in education. Some become careless, neglect their personal hygiene, become generally irresponsible, are highly irritable or hostile to close friends, and wear dirty and tattered clothes (or they do not change their clothes for many days). Santrock (2001) and Nyaga (2001) further stated that such behaviours present many challenges to school administrators.

In the early 1960s, after independence, Nigeria noticed rampant cases of drug abuse (Okon, 2002). During that period, the number of drugs that were mostly abused were limited to tobacco, kolanut and alcohol. These days, many young ones now resort to everything including tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs; the products that are most available to them (Okon, 2002). This situation, among others, has resulted in the creation of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) which was established by Decree No. 48 in 1989 to handle issues relating to the abuse and trafficking of narcotic drugs and other psycho-tropic substances, other than food which by its chemical nature, affects the structure and function of living organisms (Fareo, 2012).

Many justifications have been attributed to the use of drugs especially among undergraduate students. In line with this, Olatude (2000) and Akunyili (2003) in their own views, stated that people use drugs for a variety of reasons which includes: 1) their the need to belong to a social group or class; 2) pressure from friends and peers; 3) for self-medication; 4) because of parental deprivation at various levels; 5) for pleasure; 6) to overcome illness; 7) to gain confidence; 8) to overcome shyness; 9) to be able to facilitate communication; 10) to overcome many other social problems; and 11) to induce themselves to work above their physical capacity. Moreover, many people interchangeably use the concepts of ‘drugs’, ‘drug misuse’ and ‘drug abuse’, but there are definite differences between the concepts. Drug misuse is to use a drug for a purpose which it should not be used for. The misuse of drugs means following the medical instructions but the person may not necessarily be looking to ‘get high’ from their use. While drug abuse typically refers to those who do not have a prescription for what they are taking.

Not only do they use it in a way other than it is prescribed but they also use it to experience the feelings associated with the drug. Euphoria, relaxation, the general feeling of ‘getting high’ is always associated with drug abuse. The abuse of drugs always results in unavoidable side effects, including dependency and addiction. The study aim to investigate the incident, causes, consequences and effect of drug abuse among Nigeria youths.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Increasing youth involvement in substance use and abuse is a major threat to national development, family stability and social security from which they need to be protected (Antwi, Adjei, Asare &Twene, 2003). Studies by Kypri, Cronin and Wright (2005), Balogun, (2006), Nanchi, (2007), Melchior, Chastang, Goldberg and Fombonne (2008), (Fareo, 2012) and Adigun (2014) worked on drug abuse and drug effect related studies. None of the aforementioned researchers did their research work on the causes and consequences of drug abuse among undergraduates of the University of Ilorin. Therefore, this study uses different statistical tools and population. This is why the researcher deemed it fit to carry out research on the causes and consequences of drug abuse among undergraduates of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the incident, causes, consequences and effect of drug abuse among Nigeria youth. Specifically, the objectives include;

i.  To evaluate the difference in the causes of drug abuse among undergraduates on the basis of gender.

ii.  To determine the difference in the consequences of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender.

iii.  To find out the difference in the incident of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender.

1.4     Research Questions

i.  What is the difference in the causes of drug abuse among undergraduates on the basis of gender?

ii.  What is the difference in the consequences of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender?

iii.  What is the difference in the incident of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I

H0:     There is no significant difference in the causes of drug abuse among undergraduates on the basis of gender.

Hi:     There is a significant difference in the causes of drug abuse among undergraduates on the basis of gender.

Hypothesis II

H0:    There is no significant difference in the consequences of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender.

Hi:     There is a significant difference in the consequences of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender.

Hypothesis III

H0:    There is no significant difference in the incident of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender.

Hi:     There is a significant difference in the incident of drug abuse among Undergraduates on the basis of gender.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This work is significant because drug and it is abuse was exposed here. The role of the government concerning drug abuse will also be examined. Through this study, drug abuse among youths in Nigeria will be addressed with a view to finding lasting solutions to the problem. This work will also be of great benefits to the Nigerian youths because it will make them know the implication of drug and its abuse. If the government should really carry out their role towards drug abuse in Nigeria, it will be reduced or put to stop and Nigerian youths will turn over a new leaf and make positive contributions to their families and to the society at large.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

1.7     Scope of the Study

This study is on the incident, causes, consequences and effect of drug abuse among Nigeria youths

The study is on the youths and drug abuse and challenges for the Nigerian government on drug abuse in the Nigerian society. Apart from the topic itself, many areas about drug abuse were treated in this research work.

1.8     Limitations of the study

The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research.

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.

1.9     Definition of Terms

Drug: Refers to any chemical substance which when taken into the body that can affect one or more of the body’sfunctions.

Drug misuse: Refers to the usage of any drug for any other purpose other than the recommended one.

Drug abuse: Refers to excessive illegal drug use and/ or legal drug use without a doctor’s prescription.

Drug tolerance: Refers to a state of reduced sensitivity of a drug to the body at given regular (normal) dose.

Substance abuse: Refers to harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances including alcohol and other illicit drugs to stimulate behaviour.

Drug dependence: Refers to repeated drug taking that usually results in tolerance, withdrawal and compulsive drugtaking.

Peer pressure: Refers to tendency to conform to the values and expectations of the peer group.

Prevalence: Refers to the magnitude of drug use among a particular age population.

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