EFFECT OF DRUG ABUSE ON NIGERIA YOUTHS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Drugs are commonly used by everybody whether young or old. Drugs are not only useful for human beings; they are also useful for animals for good health. Human beings give drugs to their animals when they discovered that they are not healthy. Drug is an effective substance in the life of any living thing to cure sickness and to make life healthy. It is true that drugs are used for beneficent therapeutic purposes, effective substance for good health, but they are being abused by people especially youths. They use it illegally and unlawfully, thus it becomes harmful to the body.
Drug abuse is the Use of drugs for purposes other than medical reasons, thus affecting the individual in a negative way socially, cognitively or physically Kuria (1996). Social effects may be reflected in an individual’s enhanced tendency to engage in conflicts with friends, teachers, and school authorities. Cognitive effects relate to the individual’s lack of concentration on academic work and memory loss. While Lewinsohn (2007) defines a drug as any product other than food or water that affects the way people feel, think, see, and behave. It is a substance that due to its chemical nature affects physical, mental and emotional functioning. It can enter the body through chewing, inhaling, smoking, drinking, rubbing on the skin or injection.
Drug abuse amongst the global youth population has become a serious problem affecting everyone. Addiction leads many people, young people prominent amongst them, into downward spiral of hopelessness that in some cases ends fatal. They range from glue- sniffing street children and teenage ecstasy users, to hard core heroin and cocaine addicts (Nacada, 2005). Drug abuse is responsible for lost wages, destruction of property in schools, soaring health care costs and broken families. It is a problem which affects us all as parents, children, teachers, government officials, taxpayers and workers.
The African seminar on problems of drug dependence held in Lagos, Nigeria declared that “Drug abuse and dependence producing substances are widely prevalent in African countries have continue to increase. These problems affect the individual, the family and the society in general. Substance abuse, which was originally conceived as the problem of a selected few is today becoming a problem of a sizeable proportion of the world population. The problem is so grave that it has extended beyond the usual characteristic profile of abusers being male, adult, and urban-based to now include females, youngsters and those who live in rural areas. Its economic effect is so devastating that it is estimated that the annual retail cost of psychotropic substances by prescription is over two billion naira while the alcoholic industry which produces over five billion gallons of alcoholic beverages annually generate more than four billion naira from sales to a consumer population of about 30-35 million people (Folawiyo, 2008). Illicit Drug traffic known to generate huge profit and fortune and that is one reason why it has been very difficult to combat the drug traffic in spite of several laws that have been promulgated. For instance, it has been estimated that the sum of $400 billion is the turn over of illicit drug industry, which is equivalent of approximately 8% of total international trade and therefore larger than the trade in iron steel, motor vehicle, textile, tourism (Innerarity, 1999) Drug abuse and other associated problems constitute a major threat to the survival and effective functioning of human societies, lives are lost daily through addiction and activities of addicts. A significant number of deaths from accidents and violent crimes have been traced to the activities of persons under the influence of drugs (Falope, 1991). Treatment facilities nation wide are now gradually being over burden with drug-related problems and cases (Odejide, A.O., Ohaeri, J.U., Ogunleye, D.A., Ajuwon, A and Ige A. 1990). The need to prevent drug abuse among the Nigerian youths which are the growing generation of Nigeria thus becomes imperative.
The use of drugs by the old and young is growing on a daily bases in Nigeria. Drugs could mean those vital substances in the life of all living organism to prevent ailment, relief pain and to promote a healthy life. But these drugs that are meant to save lives are usually turning around to destroy them because of abuse. This is usually found among youths. The use of these drugs illegally and unlawfully has its consequences. Drug abuse has brought so much shame on the face of families, societies and Nigeria as a whole. According to the statistical data made available by the world heath organisation (WHO, drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and cocaine is the root cause of road accident which have claimed lives and the high rate of sickness suffered by our societies today. The issue of drug abuse has now become the main topic of discussion in our societies today. Drug abuse does not only destroy the affected person or individual but also have a negative effect on those that are connected to the individual (relatives, friends etc.). According to Barry 1984 he stated that in a country, drug abuse and alcohol has significant effect on serious crimes and also contributes hugely to fatalities.
According to Boris (1974) stated that drug abuse plays a significant role in everyday interpersonal affaires although there is no data shown, but many youths in Nigeria are also user of drugs, however, there are many other users of such drug that is beyond moderate level to them, drug abuse constitute a vey solving problem and this condition appears to be based on an underlined psychological abnormality. Drug abuse seriously affect the individuals health and social function, it also hurt the users family, friends and colleagues and society as whole. It is to this regard that the researcher wishes to take surulere local government area of Lagos state as the case study of the research work.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
This study is instigated by the increasing use and abuse of drug among youths in Nigeria. Drug abuse and it effects on the youths are relevant to the present trend of event, which was noticed to be increasingly growing as observed. Drug abuse has been found to bring different kinds of hazards to both the individual and the country as a result of an increased intake. In Surulere local government area, the predominant dwellers indulge in drug consumption as a social cultural whereby drug sellers sell the products to youths. Also in youthful birthday parties, drugs are being distributed as a type of refreshment to guests. The younger ones grow up to become drug abuser, thereby seeming no harm whatsoever in use of drug intake. Youth and adolescent of this community also pick up this habit through observing others abusing drug. In other words, these people are typically family members, parent, friends and neighbours around them. On the health effect, Barry (1996) state that damage to the ovum or sperm before conception can lead to abnormalities in the child. He further says that if the foetus is exposed to alcohol in the mothers blood in the early weeks, it may be born with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Some studies suggest that marijuana produces change in the users chromosome and as with nicotine and alcohol may damage sperm, reducing fertility and affecting the developing foetus. A defective ovum which is fertilized is likely to produce an early miscarriage. chronic cannabises use causes decreased level of male hormone testestone, testicular, degeneration and arrested or abnormal sperm production (Barry, 1996). It is in consideration of the above that the researcher is concerned with survey of effect of drug abuse on the youths in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Based on the above stated problems the study came up with the following objectives. The specific objectives of the research work are stated as follows:
i. To examine the major effect of drug abuse on the youths
ii. To discover the extent drug abuse has influenced the youths in Nigeria.
iii. To find out the control measures put in place to check drug abuse among youths in Nigeria
iv. To investigate the physical or health consequences of drug abuse on the society today
v. To examine the effectiveness of the government in fight against drug abuse among youths.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
In order to achieve the above objectives the study came up with the following research questions. The research questions are stated as follows:
i. What are the major effects of drug abuse on the youths?
ii. To what extent has drug abuse influenced the youths in Nigeria?
iii. What control measures have been put in place to check drug abuse among youths in Nigeria
iv. How effective are the government responding to fight against drug abuse among youths?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. H0: Drug abuse has not significantly affected Nigerian Youths
H1: Drug abuse has significantly affected Nigerian Youths
ii. H0: No good control measures have been put in place to check drug abuse among youths in Nigeria
H1: Good control measures have been put in place to check drug abuse among youths in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will be of immense benefit to the youths, the state government and the federal government of Nigeria in addressing the issue related to problem of drug abuse on the family, youth and general society The study would also contribute to the knowledge Lauina (theory) discovered in existing relevant literature in the field thereby enabling government and non-governmental organization to find a possible solution to drug abuse. In other words, it will provide scholarly information for further studies. More importantly the study will come up with a suggested program, that when put into consideration the problem of drug abuse affecting the family would be brought to the barest minimum.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study the effect of drug abuse on Nigeria youths will cover the whole of surulere local government, Lagos state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINST: financial constraints tend to impede the speed of the research in moving round the to gather resources. But the researcher was able to get meaningful information concerning the research topic.
TIME CONSTRAINTS: the research being a student will be involved in other departmental activities like submission of assignments, presentation of seminars and attendance to lecture will limit the time to arrive at the completion of the research work but however the researcher was able to meet up with the time allocated for the completion of the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The importance of definition of terms in any academic work cannot be over emphasized. It is therefore necessary to define some terms in this work.
Youth: Summer (2003:1920), defines youth as “the period of time when someone is young especially the period when someone is a teenager”. From Hornby (2000:1389), “youth is the time of life when a person is young, especially the time before a child becomes an adult”.
Drug: Hornby (2000:359), (1) “an illegal substance that some people smoke, inject, etc. to give them pleasant or exciting feelings”. (2) “a substance used as a medicine or used in a medicine”. Onah (1982:2) defines drug as “any chemical substance that has an effect upon the body or mind, by modifying one or more of the terms”.
Abuse: “It is the use of something in a way that is wrong or harmful” (Hornby, 2000:5) Drug Abuse: Onah (1982:2), Sees it as “It is an excessive or inappropriate use of a drug by a person; such use being considered or judged to be illegal (immoral) by the culture and also resulting in harm to the person or society”. From Aka and Akunyili (2003:60), drug abuse refers to drug use mainly by self-medication in a manner that deviates from approved medical or social patterns”.
Alcohol: Hornby (2000:26), “Drinks such as beer, wine, etc that can make people drunk or that colourless liquid that is found in drinks such as beer, wine etc and is used in medicines, cleaning product, etc”.
Alcoholism: Royce (1989:10), “The use of alcohol that results or interferes with personal life including school, job, family, friends, health, food, the law or spiritual life”.
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