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THE IMPACT OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUTH

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0       INTRODUCTION

1.2       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Drug abuse among youths is a great problem that has speeded all over the world. In Jamaica, the use of drug abuse by youths has more increased over the decades in studying the drug usage patterns of Jamaican youths, discovered that while usage was not dependent on sex. In 1989, 78 percent of youths ( males) and percent of female were using one of the four drugs ( alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and tobacco) between 1994 and 1995, it indicates that 60 percent of the youths have tried one or more drugs, including marijuana, while 1.3 percent has used cocaine. (G Learnar, 2010), (Alexander etal, 2001).

  Drug abuse is a complex issue and has been a serious public problem in Malaysia. Illicit substance use and drug relapse is an issue that continues to plague societies worldwide. The number of registered drug users is about 250,000 in a 2008 report, and is expected to reach half a million by 2015. There is also a worrying trend of high relapse rate of 50 percent, which has been consistently seen in the past decades. From January to September 2012, it was reported that there was a reduction in the number of new and repeated drug cases in Malaysia of 4053 and 2882 respectively (National Anti- Drug Agency, 2012).

  Peer influences and curiosity are the top contributory factors to drug abuse. Malaysia is unlike any other parts of the world where drug abuse is attributed to mostly family factors such as parental behaviour, family relationships, home atmosphere and economic standing. The social pressure to belong, accepted and be part of a social group, especially in teenagers, prompts them to conform to their peer group, and start trying out drugs. (Dr Tam, 2010).

  The tendency of using drugs as a coping mechanism against stress is increasing as well with the rise of drug users among professional groups. For example, college and university students often get involved in drugs due to peer and academic pressures. Opiates are the most commonly abused drugs, followed closely by cannabis and amphetamine-based stimulants, such as Adderall- a drug used to treat patients diagnosed with attention-deficit hyper-active disorder (ADHD). (Monashuniversity Malaysia, sept 2017).

  In Zambia, marijuana is the most abused drug followed by volatile solvents and hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine (INCB, 1993).

  Drug abuse is a worldwide problem. It affects all sectors of the society in all countries. In particular, it affects the freedom and development of youths who are the world’s most valuable asset. (UNODC, 2002).

  The gravity and characteristics of this problem vary from region to region and country to country. In the recent past, drug abuse among young people has risen to unprecedental levels. According to the World Drug Report, a total of 180 million people abuse drugs worldwide, and the majority of these are youths. (Lakhampal and Agnihotri, 2007).

  In response to the problem, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Ministry of Education conducted preventive education in schools. The ministry has infused aspects of anti-drug and alcohol abuse facts into the school curriculum. However, in the recent years, there has been an upswing of drug abuse among pupils in Livingstone district. This development raised concerns in the community members who feared that this might put many pupils at risk of poor academic performance, behaviour problems and even contracting HIV. In view of the increasing levels of drug abuse, questions have been raised concerning whether the school-based preventive strategies put in place are working or not. To this effect, it was necessary to conduct a study of this nature. It was hoped that the findings of this study could add to the body of knowledge on impact of school-based preventive strategies for drug abuse among pupils. (Bangert-Drowns, R. L, 1988).

  In many cultures, emotional problems and drug abuse are cause for dishonour. Among traditional Asia-Indians, for example, drug abuse is perceived as a moral problem contributing to family shame and loss of prestige. However, drug abuse seems to be on the rise in U.S immigrant refugee populations from southern Asia, suggestive of cultural influence. This is quite interesting from a historic perspective. (J Adolesx Health, 1998).

  In Asia, particularly in China, drug abuse along with its associated health problems, was brought by the British in the 17th century, but abated following independence of China from the British Empire. However, since the 1980s, the extensive modernization and westernization in China since has been associated with increasing drug abuse, suggestive again of cross-cultural influence. (PsicoHiema, 2008).

  The perception of drug abuse by adolescents in the United State has been well documented. Perception of harm correlated negatively with illicit drug abuse. Also, adolescents who perceived a strong parental disapproval of drug use were less likely to abuse drugs. Participation in religious services correlated with less incidence of drug abuse among adolescents. On the other hand, subjects engaging in fights were more likely to abuse drugs. (J.Sch Health, 2001).

  Adolescent perception of drug abuse varies and correlates with the dominant cultural norms, yet leaves many questions unanswered. For example, in a study of adolescents in South Africa, personal attributes and peer substance use correlated highly with drug abuse in adolescents. Parental factors and environmental stressors correlated less strongly with drug abuse in the same patient sample. (BMC Public Health, 2007).

  It is interesting to notice that the adolescent lifetime rate of marijuana in South Africa was significantly less than that in United State (6-12% VS 19.7%). This may be due to the low availability of marijuana compared to other drugs. For example, in Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen in the Arabian peninsula, a common drug abuse is an amphetamine-like substance called Cathinone, derived from a flowering plant called ‘’khat’’ or ‘’cathaedulis’’. Chewing khat in Yemen is widespread due to its wild stimulant effect and deep social and cultural tradition, yet it poses significant health risks. (Bernstein R Edwards, 2008).

  While it is unclear what the motives are for adolescents to chew khat, it has been suggested that students use it to enhance performance on examination. Although, the regulation of khat was limited to local levels, its worldwide spread especially among immigrant from Eastern Africa countries has spurred classification and subsequent regulation (Lancet, 2007).

  Drug abuse is the primary reason why many youths have been incarcerated, as well as been a source of crime and health problem in Nigeria today. The number of youths incarcerated in various prisons across the country has increased dramatically over the last few decades. Majority of these youths have been arrested for drug offences or have a drug abuse problem. However, since the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) was setup in 1999, frantic efforts were made to collect relevant information on drugs through variety of drug indicators for policy formulation. The impact of these agencies in terms of intervention strategies and control is tremendous. (J.W Sort, 1994).

  Drug abuse among youths in Enugu, Nsukka has been a problem to the youths and the society in general. The consequences of drug abuse are not only on the individual user but also on his or her offspring, family and the society. Drugs are commonly used by everybody whether old or young. It is time that drugs are used for beneficent therapeutic purposes, effective substances for good health, but they are being abused by people especially the youths. (Onodahro. A ,1999).

  The impact of drug abuse among the youths has been considered a moral decadent. Drug abuse has made the face of the youths rough and brought shame to the society. The youths are deliberately using drugs illegally, unlawfully and intentionally. Many of the youths ignorantly or knowingly depend on one drug or the other for their daily activities. Therefore, this issue of drug abuse has been a serious concern for the society. In recent times, the rate at which youth abuse drugs have been so alarming and worrisome that much effort has being made to eradicate it. As the youths are abusing drugs, the effort being made to eradicate it is losing strength. Drug abuse and addiction have destructive and devastating consequences but the youths are still into drugs. (Barber, 1967).

  In Lagos State, drug abuse among the youth has become a serious problem affecting everyone. Addiction leads many people, young prominent amongst them into downward spiral of hopelessness that in some cases ends fatal. The 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 properties in school, soaring health care costs and broken families. It is a problem which affects parents, children, teachers, government officials, taxpayers and workers. 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 in the state are now gradually being over burden with drug-related problems and cases. The need to prevent drug abuse among the youths who are the growing generation of the state thus becomes imperative. ( Ogunleye, 1990).

  In Plateau State, drug abuse can be traced in Kabong community long before the period of colonial era. The general perception is that, drug abuse is for motivation, intoxication and adequate performance both physically and socially. Some equally belief that it gives them wonderful ideas and thoughts. Others said it is an ‘’oil of conversation’’, which means when taken, it enables them to talk well and meaningfully or rationally. ( Swaggart, 1984).

  Within the Kabong community of Jos          South Local Government Area, there appears to be an increasing rate of drug abuse in family setting. An observation shows that this practice of drug abuse is prominent among both sex, though this observation also indicated that most of the female who abuse drug do not openly indulge in this practice due to socio-cultural reasons. Drug abuse is indeed one of the major social problem being faced totally by the youth of Kabong community of Jos South, it account for a large portion of such problem and it has raise health and marital issues for social welfare agencies. The problem of drug abuse has become a trans-cultural phenomenon in the community as it has been observed in most communities in Plateau State. (Silverstein, 1990).

  In the view of the rising cases of drug abuse among youth, the Kaduna State Ministry of Local Government Affairs, in partnership with the Bureau for Drug Abuse Preventive and Treatment, has sensitized stakeholders in Kaduna on the scourge of the menace in order to curtail its effects in the society. Teenagers and youths constitute the high risk groups with females also getting involved. Other groups of abusers are drivers, conductors, civil servants and artistes. (Media Trust Limited, 1998-2017).

1.3       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

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).

Due to the increased usage of drugs by the youth, this cause deterioration and destruction of the nervous system, heart, kidneys and the lungs of the youths.

  This motivated the researcher to study the impact of drug abuse among youths age 15-30 in UngwanKadara, Kaduna.

1.4       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective is to find out the impact of drug abuse among youth in UngwanKadara, Kaduna, while the specific objectives are as follows;

•        To investigate the psychological and emotional effect of drug abuse on the individual.

•        To examine the economic impact of drug abuse on the family.

•        To identify the social effect of drug abuse on the society.

•        To proffer solution as a guideline against drug abuse.

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

•        To help know the psychological and emotional effect of drug abuse on the individual.

•        The study will help examine the economic impact of drug abuse on the family.

•        Findings of the social effect of drug abuse on the society will help promote growth and relationship in the society.

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