Drug abuse, equally known as substance abuse, is the use of a substance usually for non-medical purposes which pose physical, emotional, social and mental threats to the users. Drug abuse penetrates across every phases of humanity, but more pervasive among adolescents and middle-aged youths. The study examines the effects of drug abuse on senior secondary school attitudes towards learning in Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State. The study adopted the two-stage sampling technique in which 132 respondents were randomly selected from four secondary schools in the study area. A well-constructed questionnaire was developed to generate data for the study via its administration to the respondents. The data were analyzed using the descriptive statistic analysis and the Pearson product moment of correlation was employed to test the hypothesis. Findings from the study reveal that alcohol is the commonest drug abused by the students; the perceived reasons for students’ engagement in drug abuse amongst others include to reduce fear and tension, to build-up self esteem, confidence and boldness, peer influence, ability to face crowd and experimentation and curiosity. Furthermore, a significant relationship was found to exist between drug abuse and students’ attitude towards learning (r=-0.347; p<0.05). To this end, the study suggested that schools should sensitize their students to that they will know that hard work secures success in life and they should be serious with their studies, in order to be useful to themselves, their families and the country at large.
1.1 Background to the Study
Since, time in memorial earliest times, herbs, roots, bark leaves have been used to relieve pain and help control diseases. History tells us that the Chinese used Opium as a cure of dysentery before the 18th century. European countries such as Britain and Holland were known to exchange opium growth in their colonies for tea and silk with China, United Nations, (1995). Unfortunately, certain drugs that initially produce effects such as sense of feeling good, elation, serenity and power have evolved into a problem of dependence and abuse.
Drug abuse is a global problem that poses a great danger to the lives of individuals, society, political and security in many countries United Nations, (2008). According to the United Nations, (2005), the use of illicit drugs has increased throughout the world and the world trend is the increasing availability of many kinds of drugs among ever widening spectrum of consumers. Of major concern is that children seem to be targeted as the new market for the drug industry globally. NAFDAC, (2012)
Africa has not been spared from the abuse of drugs by the youth. The continent, over recent years has experienced an upsurge in the production, distribution and consumption of drugs with the young youth and young adults being most affected. Africa has huge young and vulnerable populations which has become the target market for the illicit drug industry. This constitutes (56) percent of the population aged between 14 – 19 years, which constitutes secondary school students. In Ethiopia, it is reported that (82) percent of the street children in Addis Ababa use some kind of a drug, United Nations, (2013). According to the United Nations statistics (2013), 37,000 people in Africa die annually from diseases associated with drug abuse. The UN estimates that there are 28 million drug users in Africa.
An International Conference on drug abuse in Kampala, (2013) reported that young people in consumption countries were the most vulnerable section of the population, especially those in the period of early and late adolescence who are mostly unable to resist peer pressure and start experimenting with drugs in schools or even outside the school.
Among other factors that can be attributed to this trend is the problem of illicit drugs MOEST, (2015). Though the people of this region engage in economic activities like trading of Agricultural products to accumulate wealth for their life improvement, some households engage themselves in illicit liquor brewing as a mainstay to earn a livelihood, school going children in those households and the neighborhood get exposed and introduced to drug abuse at a very tender age. In some schools in Ikenne L.G.A., it is not rare to find students nursing hangovers resulting from drinking sprees the previous night MOEST, (2015).
Data available at the Sub County Director of Education office at Ikenne Local Government Area show that in 2014 alone, 12 students from 5 secondary schools were an agenda for discussion in several Sub County Education Board meetings facing eminent expulsion for abusing drugs MOEST, (2015). It is against this backdrop that the current study seeks to investigate the effects of drug use on attitude towards learning among students in public secondary schools in Ikenne L.G.A., Ogun state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the overwhelming intervention strategies by the government, religious organizations, non-state actors and many other keen stakeholders to curb the problem of drugs and substance abuse especially among the youth, the number of school going youth being involved in drug abuse seems to be escalating day by day. A consistently high rate of riots, fires and other violent disturbances in educational institutions have caused a great deal of public concern. The most common explanation for frequent occurrences of these problems has been associated with consumption of drugs and other substances. Drug and substance abuse threats tend to derail these noble studies by demotivating the students in learning and subsequently ruining these school going children that the government intends to rely on in driving the economy to the next level.
Ikenne Local Government Area like any other region in the country experiences internal inefficiencies in the school system such as declining attitude towards learning, apathy in learning activities and subsequent dropout in schools. The fact that there are few studies that have ever sought to address the problem of drug abuse in secondary schools forms justification of the current study that seeks to investigate the effects of drug abuse on senior secondary school students’ attitude towards learning in Ikenne Local Government Area, Ogun state, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- Determine the commonly abused drugs by students in secondary schools in Ikenne G.A.
- Establish the causes of drug abuse among students in Ikenne L.G.A.
- Determine the effects of drug abuse on attitude towards learning in Ikenne L.G.A.
- Establish measures put in place to curb drug abuse in school in Ikenne L.G.A.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the commonly abused drugs by students in secondary schools in Ikenne G.A.?
- What are the causes of drug abuse among secondary school students in Ikenne G.A.?
- What is the effect of drug abuse on the attitude towards learning among students in Ikenne G.A.?
- What measures have been put in place to curb drug abuse in Ikenne L.G.A. Secondary Schools?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of benefit to Guidance and Counseling teachers by learning how to deal with students who abuse drugs. Policy makers in the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders will use this information on abuse of drugs in schools so as to form appropriate policy decisions in abetting this vice that has a negative effect on attitude towards learning. Parents and guardians may benefit from this study by getting ideas on their children‟s intake of drugs so as to be better placed to ensure good upbringing of these children. Finally, the study will open new research gaps that may be useful for future research initiatives in this area of study by scholars.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
Drug and substance abuse involved powerful people in the society and some respondents especially the students were not ready to admit the drug use fearing being exposed. Since the questionnaires did not indicate names of respondents, I was able to get the information freely from the students. School principals might have withheld information about drug and substance abuse amongst the students since this would tarnish the reputation of their schools.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
Delimitations are those characteristics selected by the researcher to define the boundaries of the study Dusick, (2011). They involved what to be included and those not to be included in the study. The study was carried out in selected public secondary schools in Ikenne L.G.A. only. The respondents/participants were; principals, guidance and counseling teachers and Senior students from public secondary schools in Ikenne L.G.A. only. The Senior students participated in the study because the researcher foresaw that they have been in school long enough so as to be influenced by the school environment and they could provide the required information.
1.8 Definition of Operational Terms
Alcohol: It has been used to refer to pure, rectified spirit, a volatile, intoxicating fermentation product contained in wine, beer, spirits or other distilled or fermented liquor.
Dropout: It has been used to refer to the premature withdrawal from school.
Drug: In this study it refers to any chemical substance which when taken into the body can affect one or more of the body‟s function.
Drug abuse: In this study it refers to a condition whereby drugs are taken for other motives other than the intended ones e.g. to produce unnatural feelings.
Impact: In this study it refers to the outcome of the interactions between two variables.
Poor performance: In this study it refers to non-participation in learning by the learners or decline in academic abilities.
Truancy: In this study it refers to the frequent absenteeism from school by learners.
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