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FACTORS INFLUENCING THE RATE OF DRUG ABUSE AND ITS EFFECT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

          Drug, a substance that affects the function of living cells, used in medicine to diagnose, cure, prevent the occurrence of diseases and disorders, and prolong the life of patients with incurable conditions. Moronkola (1993) believed that use, misuse and abuse of drugs are three concepts in drug issues that need proper classification. Use is a term reserved for any purpose to which drug is taken to the body by man.

          Drugs are chemicals. They work in the brain by tapping into the brain’s communication system and interfering with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, can activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter. This similarity in structure “fools” receptors and allows the drugs to lock onto and activate the nerve cells.

          Although these drugs mimic brain chemicals, they don’t activate nerve cells in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network. Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels. The difference in effect can be described as the difference between someone whispering into your ear and someone shouting into a microphone.

          Drug is supposed to be dispersed by pharmacists with a doctor’s prescription and usage of drug can be through any of the following; injection, insertion, inhalation, massaging or application on open wounds and cuts. The main purpose of drugs should in reality be directed to its medical functions and it should be used strictly according to the prescription of medical doctors, but in most cases people use drug without the prescription of medical practicioner. This is referred to as drug abuse. In some cases, these drugs are used wrongly or misused. That is using, drug meant for certain purposes for other purposes rather than what it is meant for. There are other cases where some people get themselves involved in the use of a particular drug so much that they cannot do without such drug. In this case such a person is said to be addicted to that drug.

Statement of the Problem

          Drug abuse is a general problem in Nigeria today especially in areas where there is no adequate supervision i.e. monitoring of students and effective usage of punishment for deviant behaviours. Recently NDLEA officials reported cases of junior secondary school students in possession of Indian Hemp.

          Academic achievement is measured in a variety of ways. The most commonly cited indicator is the rate of high school completion. Statistics also are available on grades, standardized test scores, absenteeism, suspensions and expulsions, and the percentage of students who have been held back. The following are often cited indicators of low achievement which could be as a result of drug abuse.

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Updated: 15th January 2019 — 11:42 am

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