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Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse and substance use disorder, is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder. Widely differing definitions of drug abuse are use in public health, medical and animal justice context. The exact cause of substance abuse is not clear, with theories including: a genetic disposition, learning from others–or a habit which if addiction developed, manifest as chronic debilitating diseases. Drug most often associated with this term include: alcohol, substituted amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (particular alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam, and clonapam), cocaine, methaqualone, cannabis and opiods.
Drug is any chemical substance which when taking into the body interact with tissues to modify the biological process of the body. Some of the drug exerts major effect on the body or brain causing (sleeping) stimulation which result in change of mode and behavior.
The term “youth” varies in definition, form and approach. A youth as define by the national youth policy is any individual who is a citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria, between the ages of 18-35. The age group occupies the transition between childhood and adulthood exhibiting attributes of childhood dependence and independence of adulthood. (Muraskin, 1999). Furthermore, the hope and aspiration of any society lie on the calibre of youth in that society. However, Uthaymeen (2002) argued that if we take an examining
look at the youth Nigeria we will be able to conclude that youths generally are of categories; the upright youth, the corrupt youth and the confused youth. The second and third types of youth are the one that will be discussed in this paper because they are not productive and they are the type always fought the constituted authorities.
In Taraba state, the unproductive, corrupt and confused youths revolted against police and injured the commissioner of police on 17/07/2018, The result of this act has lead to prosecution and detention of several youths.
Since the early times, herbs, leaves, and plants have been use to heal and control disease. The use of drug in itself does not constitute any danger, because drug correctly administered have been a blessing. Sambo (2008) viewed that “chronic use of substances can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescents’ physical and psychological development” The use of drugs could be beneficial or harmful depending on the method use.
Drug use and abuse is the primary reason why many youths have been incarcerated, as well as being a source of crime and health problem in our society today.
Drug: A drug is, in the broadest sense of the term, is a chemical substance that has Known biological effects on humans or other animals. In pharmacology, a drug is “a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to other wise enhance physical or mental well-being.
A drug is a substance used for medical purposes that change the or function of the body.
Drug Abuse: Drug abuse is a situation when drug is taken more them it is prescribed. It implies a particular application of a drug more destructive than constructive for society, or the individual.
Drug abuse is a major public health problem all over the world (UNODC)(2005).the use and abuse of drug by adolescents have become one of the most disturbing health related phenomena in Nigeria and other parts of the world (NDLEA; 1997). Several school going adolescents experience mental health programme, either temporarily or for long period of time. Some become in some, maladjusted to school situations and eventually drug our of school.
NAFDAC (2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) explained the term drug abuse as excessive and persisted self-administration of a drug without regard to the medical or culturally accepted patterns. it could also be viewed as the use of drug to the extent that it inters with the health and social function of an individual.
World Bank Encyclopedia (2004) Define drug abuse as the nonmedical use of a drug that interferes with a healthy and productive life Member (2008) define drug abuse as the excessive, maladaptive or addictive use of drug non-medical purpose
Types of Drugs Commonly Abused By Youths
In Nigeria, the most common types of abuse drugs according to NAFDAC (2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) are categorized as follows:
1. Stimulant: These are substance that directly act and stimulate the central nervous system. Users at the initial stage experience pleasant effects such as energy increase. The major source of these comes from caffeine substance.
2. Hallucinogens: These are drugs that alter the sensory processing unit in the brain Thus producing distorted perception, feeling of anxiety and euphoria, sadness and inner joy, they normally come from marijuana.
3. Narcotics: These drug relive pains, induce sleeping and they are addictive, They are found in heroin, codeine, dium etc.
4. Sedative: These drug are among the most widely used and abused. This is largely due to the believe that they relief stress and anxiety, and some of them induce sleep, ease tension, cause relaxation or help users to forget their problems. They are sourced from valium, alcohol, chloroform.
5. Miscellaneous: This is a group of volatile solvents or inhalants that provide euphoria, emotional disinhibition and perpetual distortion of thought to the user. The main sources are glues, spot removers, tube repair, perfumes, chemicals etc.
6. Tranquilizer: They are believed to produce calmness without bringing drowsiness, they are chiefly derived from Librium, valium etc.
Theories of Drug Abuse
Theories of drug abuse indicate that some people truly depend on certain drugs for their survival due to a number of factors. The major emphasis of the theories is that people have their individual reasons for depending on one type of the drug or the other. Such reasons, according to Eze and Omeje (1999) are explained in the following theories; personality theory of drug abuse, learning theory of drug abuse, biological theory of drug abuse and socio-cultural theories
a. Personality Theory of Drug Abuse: The main emphasis of the theories are that there are certain traits or characteristics in the individual that abuse drugs. Such personality characteristics, according to Eze and omeje (1999) are inability to delay gratification, low tolerance for Frustration, poor impulse control, high emotional dependence on other people, poor coping ability and low self-esteem. Individuals with these personality characteristiecs find it difficult to abstain from drug abuse.
b. Learning Theory of Drug Abuse: it maintains that dependence or abuse of drugs occurs as a result of learning. The learning could be by means of conditioning, instrumental learning or social learning.
c. Biological Theory of Drug Abuse: The theory maintains that drug abuse is determined by the individuals biological or genetic factors which make them vulnerable to drug addiction.
d. Socio-cultural Theories of Drug Dependence/Abuse: The theories maintain that abuse is determined by socio-cultural values of the people. For instance, when
certain cultures permits the consumption of alcohol and marijuana, other culture do not.
It should be noted, however that no theory fully explains the etiology of drug Abuse. This is due to individual difference. It then becomes obvious that the disorder (drug abuse) is an acquired one. The acquisition, then is dependent on a host of personal inclinations and environmental factors, a situation explained suggestively by Bandara (1986) social cognitive theory, i.e. the triadic reciprocity involving behaviour, environment and the person.
Causes of Drug Abuse
Haladu (2003) gave the following as the main cause,
i. Experimental curiosity: curiosity to experiment the unknown facts about drugs thus motivates adolescent into drug use. The first experience in drugs abuse produces a state of arouse such as happiness in pleasure which in turn motivate to continue
ii. Peer group influence: peer pressure plays a major role in influencing many adolescents in to drugs abuse. This is because peer pressure is a fact of teenage and youth life. As the try to depend less on parents, they show more dependency on their friends, in Nigeria, as other pats of the world, one may not enjoy the company of others unless he conforms to their norms.
iii. Lack of parental supervision: many parent have no time to supervise their sons and daughters. Some parents have little or no interaction with family members, while
others pat pressure on their children to pass exams or perform better in their studies. These phemenomena initialize and increase drugs abuse.
iv. Personality problems due to socio-economy condition: Adolescent which personality problems origin from social conditions have been found to abuse drugs. The social and economic status of most Nigeria is below average. Poverty is widespread, broken homes and unemployment is on the increase, therefore our youths roam the streets looking for employment or resort to begging these situations have been aggravated by lack of committed action to promote job creation by private and community entrepreneurs. Frustration arising from these problems lead to recourse in drug abuse for temporary removing the tension and problem arising from it.
v. The need for energy work for long hours. The increasing economic deterioration that leads to poverty and disempowerment of the people has driven many parents to send their children out in search of a means of earning something for contribution to family income. These children engage in hawking, busy conducting, head loading, scavenging, serving in for canteens etc. and are prone to drug taking so as to gain more energy to work for long hours.
vi. Availability of the drugs: in many countries, drug have dropped in prices as supplies have increased.
vii. The need to prevent the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms: if a drug is stopped the user experience what is termed “withdrawal symptoms” pain, anxiety, excessive
sweating and shaking characterize such symptoms. The inability of the drug user to tolerate symptoms motivates him to continue (Ige, 2000)
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
According to Adolescent Health Information Project AHIP (2001) the following signs may be expected from those who abuse drugs:
1. Possession of drug related paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling paper, small decongestant.
2. Possession of drugs, peculiar plant or bolts, seed of leaves ashtrays or clothing pockets.
3. Odour of drugs, smell of increase or other cover up scents.
4. Drug related magazines, slogans and clothing.
5. Hostility n discussing drugs.
6. Poor physical coordination, slurred or inherent speech; unhealthy appearance, indifference to hygiene and grooming.
7. Bloodshot eyes.
8. Chronic dishonesty, lying, cheating and stealing.
9. Trouble with the police and other law enforcement agencies.
10. Inappropriate anger, hostility, irritability etc.
11. Reduce motivation, energy, self-discipline, self-esteem etc.
The Effects of Drug Abuse
According to Mba (2008) some negative effects of drug abuse on body chemistry are as follows:
i. Alcohol – related problems includes:
a. Physical problems e.g. Liver cirrhosis, Pancreatic, Peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, Hypertension, Neurological disorder.
b. Mental retardation for the fetus in the womb, growth, deficiency, delayed motor development.
c. Craniofacial abnormalities, limbs abnormalities deficit.
d. Psychiatric e.g. pathologicaldrunkenness, suicidal behavior.
e. Social – broken homes, increased crime rate, sexual offences, homicide and sexually transmitted diseases.
ii. Tobacco: causes stimulation of heart and narrowing of blood vessels, producing hypertension, headache, loss appetite, nausea and delayed growth of fetus. It also aggravates or causes cancer, strokes, and heart attack.
iii. Stimulants: Lethargy, irritability, exaggerated self confidence, damage nose linings, sleeplessness, and psychiatric complications.
iv. Inhalants: causes poor perception, constipation, cough, suppression, vomiting, drowsiness and sleep, unconsciousness and death.
Other effects of frequently used for drugs may include the following:
i. Methamphetamine Effects – “wiredsleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, excited, talkative, deluded sense of power, depression, loss of control, nervousness, unusual sweating, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, violence, dizziness, mood changes, blurred vision, mental confusion, agitation” (Harper, 2008)
ii. Ecstasy Effects (changes in mental and physical stimulation, altered perception of sound, light, touch. Stimulation of physical energy with related decrease in appetite and increase in body temperature increase in emotional response and sensual reactions. Body may overheat which can lead to fatalities)
iii. Cocaine effect (impaired thinking, confused, anxious, depressions, short tempered, Panic attacks, suspiciousness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, decrease sexual drive, restlessness, irritability, very talkative, scratching,
iv. Heroin effects (chemically enforced euphoria, a dream like state similar to sleep in which the person can drift off for minutes or hours at a time. For long time abusers, heroin may act like a stimulant, and they can perform a normal daily routine others may find themselves completely powerless to do anything)
v. Marijuana effects ( compulsive eating, bloodshot and squinty red eyes, dry mouth, excessive and uncontrollable laughter, forgetfulness, shot-term memory loss, extreme lethargy, data-yed motor skills laziness, like of motivation, stupidity, and strong mood changes behaviors when the person is high. The shot effects are, increasing appetite, increased pulse rate, shot-time memory, logical thinking and physical performance (e.g. driving a car or performing other
complex tasks) are impaired. Others are the user become quiet, reflective and sleepy. In long-time effects the following situation are common; development of moderation tolerance, possible psychological dependence, loss of drive and of interest in sustained captivities, risk of cancer, (National institute on Drugs Abuse, 2015)
Consequences of Drugs Abuse on Youth
Young people who persistently abuse substance often experience can array of problems, including academic difficulties, health related problems, poor, peer relationship, and death
Strategies for Counseling
The following counseling strategies are suggested to help reduce drug abuse among adolescents:
1. Establishment of Family Education on Drugs: The family is the nucleus of the social organization. Parents should give their children appropriate education on drug use. They should be encouraged by health authorities to offer family education on drug abuse to their children. They should inform them of the dangers of drug abuse and dependence on their health, society and the nation.
2. Establishment of Counselling Centres for Drug Control: Counselling centers should be established in every community by the government or private individuals. Qualified health counsellors should be employed in helping drug addicts or those
dependent on drugs by giving them special advice on how to go about the withdrawal system.
3. Designing Curricula on Drug Education: Ministry of education (State and Federal) should as matters of urgency add to the curricula – drug education at all levels of education.
4. Campaign against Drug Abuse: National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should intensify their campaigns on antidrug in order to have a drug free society. The campaign against use of certain drugs and misuse of drugs should be more intensified at the secondary school level because it is the peak of adolescent. Also, government and other relevant authorities should lunch out campaigns against drug abuse as well as dependence.
5. Effective study Habit for Students: An effective study is that which centers on a well planned scheme of study involving sufficient recreational activities, enough resting time and sleep. Thus, such well planned time table of study habits that make adequate provision for rest will enhance good study habit without necessary resorting to the use of drugs to keep students artificially awake.
6. Establishment of Drug Awareness Units: Drug awareness units to be set up in all states and moderated by the federal state and local governments. It should not be a panel established to try people who use drugs as criminals, but to help solve their socio-psychological problem.
7. Parents and adults should refrain from using drugs in discriminately in the presence of youngsters and they should discourage their wards/children from associating with “unknown” gangs or suspicious neighbourhood peer groups.
Drug abuse is a problem that is causing serious concern to both individuals and government all over the world. The problem is prevalent among adolescents who in most cases are ignorant about the dangers inherent in drug abuse. Many of them engaged in drug abuse out of frustration, poverty, lack of parental supervision, peer influence and pleasure. However, with effective counselling programme, the problems can be tackled.