Format: MS WORD |  Chapter: 1-5 |  Pages: 65-80





1.0  Background of the Study

According to Wikler (1990:78), drug abuse, “is the overwhelming involvement with use of drugs, getting an adequate supply of it and a strong tendency to resume use of it after stopping for a period”. Also, the Encyclopedia of Social Science (2000:143) captured drug addiction as “behavioral pattern of compulsive drug use characterized by an overwhelming involvement with procurement and use of the drug and the high tendency of the user to relapse to drug use after a period of abstinence”. Consumption of psychoactive substance is an age-long phenomenon. In all known history and culture, psychoactive substances like alcohol, kola-nut etc have been in use for several reasons- energizer, elevation of mood, reduction of hunger, stress, and anxiety (James, 1999; Reids, 2006).

In America, Asia and Europe, these substances were used for energizer and food. For instance in San Francisco, Thio (2003:289) documented the wide use of cannabis by Chinos laborers for prolonged farming activity in their plantation. Similarly in Peru, Boliva and France, there was extensive use of opium, cocaine, cannabis etc for treatment of several ailments like stomach disorder, headache, fatigue, body pain and above all to wade off hunger (Mamman, 1993). The wide acceptance and use of these drugs resulted to devastating consequences like morphine addiction among veteran soldiers, escalated theft, homicide, promiscuity, etc (Cornwell and Cornwell, 1997). Sequel to this development, multifaceted programme like drug demand and supply reduction programmes, drug education, drug treatment and rehabilitation centers were put in place to tackle the scourge of drug addiction and its associated problems in America, Asia, and Europe.

Drug use can be defined as the appropriation of drugs by an individual taking into cognizance the medical and cultural norms of a given society (NAFDAC 2000, in Haladu, 2003). Haladu explained the term drug abuse as excessive and persistent self-administration of a drug without regards 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. World Book Encyclopedia (2004) defined drug use as the non-medical use of a drug that interferes with a healthy and productive life. Manbe(2008) defined drug abuse as the excessive maladaptive or addictive use of drugs for non-medical purpose.