SOCIAL EFFECTS OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Drug is a natural or synthetic substance which (when taken into a living body) affects its functioning or structure, and is used in the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a disease or relief of discomfort.  The ancient Greeks believed drugs to be both poison and medicine. In modern society, a drug is whatever is ingested to treat any medical or psychological condition. Often what determines whether a substance is a drug is its manner of use. For example, alcohol is a beverage but it may be considered a drug if it is used for relaxation or to remove inhibitions. Similarly, it is used as a drug if it is taken to stimulate appetite.

A drug is any substance other than food, that when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin or dissolved under the tongue causes a physiological change in the body, Richard Lovet(2005). A drug is a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of a physiological system such as the human body. The term drug refers mainly to chemical or plant-derived substances that affect psychological, behavioral or physical functions and lead to varying degrees of dependence or addiction.

A drug is any substance which, when introduced into the body will alter the normal biological and psychological functioning of the body especially the central nervous system (Myers, 2006). Drugs, properly administered, have been medical blessings (Maithya, 2009). Drug and Substance abuse has been considered a global epidemic, (McCabe, Boyd &Teter, 2009). Studies and statistics show that globally more preadolescence and teenage children are using drugs and alcohol (ADF, 1999).

The ancient Greeks believed drugs to be both poison and medicine. In modern society, a drug is whatever is ingested to treat any medical or psychological condition. Often what determines whether a substance is a drug is its manner of use. For example, alcohol is a beverage but it may be considered a drug if it is used for relaxation or to remove inhibitions. Similarly, it is used as a drug if it is taken to stimulate appetite.

Drugs can be classified into the following viz;

  1. Stimulants such as tobacco, cocaine or coffee.
  2. Depressant such as alcohol and other substances of depressants such as heroine, morphine and opiates.
  3. Hallucinogens.

Stimulants: This kind of drug stimulates the nervous system of an individual to behave extraordinarily leading such individual to misbehave. The health implication is that the individual is acting on the influence of a cultivating factor such as tobacco, cocaine etc. Common incidence that happens around us today is on the influence of these stimulants and if care is not taken, could lead to mental disorder.

Depressants:These are sleep inducing drugs. They are used to calm anxious and restless subjects. These are barbiturates and non barbiturates that are capable of producing some degree of depression of the central nervous system (CNS). They are the most dangerous drugs.

Hallucinogens:These are substances that produce a state of altered perception and other alteration of mood such as illusion, hallucination. Examples of these drugs are lysergic acid diethyl lamine (LSD) phylogibin (extracted from innobrowi) magaline. Drug abuse has caused great problem to humanity. A lot of damages have been done to human health as a result of drug use and abuse and these damages could be mental, physical, emotional and psychological so that it has in a long way reduce life span of man.

There are also social problems associated with drug use and abuse. They include high rate of crime, deformity either physically or mentally and affect unborn children whose mothers abuse drugs when they are pregnant. It can even lead to high rate of infant mortality in unborn babies or pregnant mothers when giving birth to mongoloid children.

Great misfortunes have resulted as a result of drug abuse e.g. series of road accidents that have claimed lives of men. Drug addicts when severely under the influence of drugs walked along the street half naked and perpetual acts like rape, assassination and murders.

Drug abuse is a matter of grave concern to educational stakeholders, medical practitioners, sociologists, religious leaders, counselors and parents. It is a national and international sensitive challenge that needs urgent attention due to the alarming rate of involvement of the youth. Adewuya (2005) noted that alcohol is most widely used among young people.

Drug abuse, according to Ajayi and Ayodele (2002), is the wrong use or inappropriate use of chemical substances that are capable of changing functions of cells in the body. Bayer, as cited in Egbochuku and Akerele(2007), saw stimulants, which are substances that cause an increase in the activity; of an organ in the body, as chemicals that excite certain activities of the central nervous system.

Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010) also saw drug abuse as over- dependence and misuse of one particular drug with or without a prior medical diagnosis from qualified health practitioners. Drug and Substance abuse most often begins in early adolescence because of social economic problems and cultural practices of this age group (Kandel& Chen, 1995).

West and Graham (2005) also agreed that students’, as a subset of the youth populations consume large quantities of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, Ajake, Isangedihi and Bisong (2009) posited that premarital sexual practices and drug abuse constitute social ills that have BEEN age long problems in the secondary school system. Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010) equally confirmed that drug abuse has been identified as a serious constraint to effective teaching and learning process in the Nigerian educational system.

According to (UNODC) report (2005), some 200 million people, or 5 percent of the total world’s population aged 15 – 64 have used drugs at least once in the 12 months an implied, 15 million people more than the 2004 estimate (Maithya, 2009). Drug abuse affect people at all levels of development; has a negative impact on the education of students; overall health of the abuser is affected and negative behavior associated with the vice predisposes the abuser to crime (Kyalo&Mbugua, 2011).

In Nigeria young people use drugs for the same reasons as adults and youth in other parts of the world. They use drugs for relaxation and fun; dealing with inhibition; coping with pressure and frustration; to relieve stress and anxiety or pain; and to overcome boredom. Some of the drugs are perceived as acceptable norms in society.

In Nigeria it is estimated that approximately 5.8 percent of the population over the age of 15 is dependent on alcohol and that there are indications of an in the abuse of illicit drugs and other substance. Children and young people are introduced into drugs in a number of ways. The youth, sexually active young girls and street children are some of the most vulnerable and high-risk groups when it comes to drug and substance abuse (Peltzer&Phaswana, 2009).

Though alcohol and marijuana are the top two (2) most commonly abused drugs, they are not the only type of drug that people abuse or misuse. In addition to these, people also abuse pain relievers, cocaine, depressants, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants

Adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood and this critical developmental period is marked by several physical, psychological and social changes. Adolescents are a segment of population with age range between 14-25years. Most undergraduates in the university in Nigeria are usually within the adolescent age range of 14-25 years (Olugbenga-Bello; Adebinpe; Abodurin, 2009).

Adolescence is a time of experimentation, exploration, curiosity and identity search. Part of such a quest involves some risk-taking, including the use and abuse of psychoactive substances, which are the drugs that exert their major effects on the brain resulting in sedation, stimulation or change in mood of an individual. Adolescents are faced with the huge task of establishing a sense of identity.  The new cognitive skills of maturing adolescents give them the ability to reflect on who they are and what makes them unique.

Identity is made up of two components, self-concept and self-esteem (American Psychological Association, 2002). Self-concept is a set of beliefs about oneself, including attributes, roles, goals, interests, values, religious and political beliefs, while self-esteem is how one feels about one’s self-concept. All of the developmental changes that adolescents experience prepare them to experiment with new behaviours. This experimentation results in risk-taking, which is a normal part of adolescent development (Sue, et al, 2009). Engaging in risk-taking behaviour helps adolescents to shape their identities, try out their new decision-making skills and gain peer acceptance and respect (Ponton, 2009).

The United Nation’s division of narcotic drugs reported that never before have there been so many young people, even children, flirting with drugs and their associated hazards ( Pela O.A e tal, 1982). Drugs as defined by the International Convention of 1961 for Narcotic Drugs, and of 1971 for psychotropic substances, include all substances and chemicals that should not be used for any purpose other than for medical and scientific research. If used for purposes otherwise, they are called illicit drugs (Kassaye M, e tal, 1999). Therefore, this studyintends to survey commonly abused drugs among adolescents in Ikere-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti state

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Updated: 22nd June 2017 — 3:20 pm

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