The Project File Details
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
This research work is on the effects of Drug Abuse among University
undergraduates in Nigeria. It appears that not only the use of drugs that
create problems but rather their misuse. In other words the widespread
use of drugs has not only turned our attention to the dynamics of drug
use and its determinants but also made it necessary to weigh the impact
of this process on social institutions and social charge in future
Drug abuse according to Laver (1978) simply means the improper use of
drugs to the degree that the consequences are defined as detrimental to
the user and or the society. The World Health Organization (WHO
(2006) also defined drug abuse as a “state” of periodic or chronic
intoxication, detrimental to the individual and to the society, produced by
the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic).
Drug abuse patterns include all aspect of drug usage by the youths
ranging from how much, how often and what sort of drugs, where who,
with, what circumstances and so on. The analysis of contemporary
social problem has consistently proved more and more controversial
because of the variables involve in their analysis, with the incidence of
drug abuse, being of utmost concern to the abuser himself, his family,
the government and the entire society in which he lives. This situation
seems to have caused a lot of embarrassment to the government
including most especially the damage done to the image of Nigerian
abroad. It is obvious that custom officials in the United States of America
and indeed the entire Nations of Europe subject the people of Nigeria
traveling to their countries to a more thorough and embarrassing checks.
This type of degrading and humiliating examination of Nigerians
according to them is because they want to crack down on smugglers of
which Nigerians are the chief suspects due to the hard drug trafficking
posture exhibited by some greedy Nigerians.
Furthermore, Nigerian societies has defined some drugs as acceptable
while others as not acceptable without reference to their effects on
mental and physical wellbeing of t the of the users, for example, society
considers the use of alcohol and nicotine as acceptable, hence those of
them who take these drugs do so freely in public without fear of arrest or
To the society as a whole, crime, promiscuity, armed robbery and other
vices are all linked to drug abuse. Therefore this study is motivated by
the controversy that surrounds the effect of drug abuse among
University undergraduates in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Drug abuse in Nigeria in the contemporary time has become one issue
that cast a gloomy shadow to the entire Nigerian society especially
among University undergraduates. The height of drug trafficking in
Nigeria was witnessed in 1985 under the military regime. During this
period, it was mostly the University undergraduates that were caught
and the first to be executed for drug offences under the “special tribunal
(Miscellaneous Offences) Degree No. 20 of 1984. However, the abuse of
drugs is not only limited to the University undergraduates as alien
phenomenon is to distort its significance.
Nevertheless, the usage of drug either by University undergraduates or
other members of the larger society in all its ramifications appears to be
a social problem. This problem is widely spread and it affect all and
sundry. In other words, this wide spread use and abuse entice people
from all walks of life and beyond the human destruction caused by drug
dependence is the damage to traditional values and lifestyles. Studies
have also shown that drug abuse wrecks individual, shatter families and
weakens entire society with its burden of economic looses, health cost
and increased lawlessness and crime.
Also, drugs seem to undermine the ability of University undergraduates
to learn. Drug also appears to contradict our values of physical
wellbeing. People experiment with drugs because they seem to hold the
promise of fulfillment. But the fulfillment is generally elusive, greater and
greater quantities are consumed and ultimately the person suffers both
physical and psychological deterioration. The drug abuser also
experience problems of interaction and this interactional problem is
encountered both inside his immediate family and stress invariably is
created in the family situation of drug abuse (Hoffman, 1990).
To add to this, drug abuse may entail a lot of social problems ranging
from lateness to lectures, family neglect, deviance behaviours,
involvement in crime etc (Earl 2000). In terms of economic cost, it
includes the more money required to deal with the undesirable effects of
the drug abuse, the less money for services and programmes that
enhances the quality of life (Earl 2000).
One of the factors militating against the eradication of drug abuse among
our University undergraduates is that our security agencies, such as the
police force, National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies among others
have not done enough to check this scourge. Another factor militating
against the eradication of drug abuse among Nigerian University
undergraduates is the problem of corruption among the men and officials
of these fore mentioned agencies.
To this end and judging from the problems outlined earlier, this research
aims at ascertaining the effect of drug abuse among University
undergraduates in Nigeria using the University of Calabar, Cross River
State as a study area.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide the study.
1. What are the common drugs likely to be abused by undergraduate
students in the contemporary Nigeria society?
2. What are the major reasons accountable for engagement of
undergraduate students in drug abuse in Nigeria?
3. What are the likely implications for undergraduate‟s involvement in
4. What are the measures that can be used to eradicate drug abuse
among University undergraduates in Nigeria?
1.4 MAJOR OBJECTIVE
To determine the effect of drugs abused by undergraduates in Nigeria
1. To find out the drugs that is commonly abused by undergraduate
students in Nigeria.
2. To find out the implications for undergraduates involvement on
3. To identify of this study also aims at looking at some of the
measures aimed at eradicating the drug abuse problem among
University undergraduates in Nigeria.
4. To ascertain the reasons why drugs are been abused by the
University undergraduates in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There is a great need for this study as it entails what the result for the
findings would be used for.
The results of the study should help in creating awareness in the society
on the general effects of drug abuse on their health most especially the
University undergraduates. It will make the youths to realize that
excessive or even small intake of this item (drugs) has inhibitory effects
on their brain.
The result of this of this study will be used in making the consumers to
have a second thought before partaking in the act. This will go a long
way in modeling their behavior which the general awareness has
The study will go a long way in reducing the numerous health problems
encountered as a result of the misuse of drugs or the intake of hard
drugs. The study will also help young researchers or writers to solve
some problems of drug abuse, thereby ensuring good health of the
University undergraduates or youths in general and social harmony in
Finally, all the social ills in the society as a result of the effects of drug
abuse among the University undergraduates in Nigeria will be drastically
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
(a) Drug: A drug is a chemical substance capable of altering the
physical and psychological function of the body.
(b) Abuse: This means the misuse of something. It can also be
described as the illegal use of something.
(c) Drug Abuse: This is the misuse of drugs. It could be defined as
the illegal use of substance which interferes with the human
(d) Effects: This could be defined as consequences. It is also the
power to produce result.