1.1 Background of the study
Drug abuse is one of the top problems confronting the nation today especially among the youth. Incidences of drug abuse and related anti-social behavior have tremendously increased in recent years. This has become a matter of concern to the government, parents, teachers, Non-governmental organizations and all other relevant agencies. Parents do not recognize the extent of drug use and as a result, some young people think they can use drugs with impunity. Most parents believe that it is the responsibility of teachers to check drug abuse among school going youths and still most of them delude themselves that their children are safe and secure. Drug abuse is not confined to young people in certain geographical areas or from particular social-economic backgrounds. It affects the nation as a whole-both urban and rural areas. The concept of “drug” has been defined as any chemical substance which affect living organism. Such a substance may be used to fight infections and illness or minimize pain, fatigue, anxiety or at times to achieve certain level of euphoria. WHO (1952) defined “drugs” as any substances that when taken into a living body produce reactions or modify its psychological and physiological functioning. On the other hand “drug abuse” has been defined as any use of drugs for nonmedical purposes almost always for altering consciousness. Drug abuse denotes substances that change the mental or physical state of a person and that may be used repeatedly for that effect leading to abnormality. WHO defined “Drug dependence” as a “state” arising from repeated administration of a drug on a periodic or continuous basis in order to experience its psychic effect and sometimes to avoid the discomfort of its absence.(Kilonzo, 1996:170). However, experience shows that drug abuse has been on the medical and nonmedical drug which is the concern of this study. For the medical drugs, using them without prescription of the medical personnel or using them contrary to the prescriptions of the medical personnel is considered as abusing the medical drugs. For example some people use symptoms of diseases as a means of buying and using different drugs or for quicker recovery as some think, they use drugs not asprescribed by the doctors, i.e. use drugs for four times instead of three times or three times instead of two times per day. For the non-medical or illicit drugs, they include heroin, cocaine, cannabis, opium etc. When these are used it is said that drugs are abused because their uses are not for the purposes of treating, preventing and diagnosing diseases. Cigarette smoking is one of licit drugs which commonly abused by people.The main effect of using cigarette is nicotine which causes cancer of lungs, gangrene chest pain, death etc.Also alcoholism from the medical point of view indicates a disease caused by chronic, excessive drinking resulting to dependence on alcohol. Physiological definition of alcoholism classifies it as a drug addiction recognizable by the occurance of a withdrawal syndrome when the drinking is stopped. Mbatia (1996:61).In a nutshell alcohol like the other drug abuses, affect the quality of the people’s lives and affect people in both developed and developing countries. Alcoholism and drug abuse are a growing problem in Nigeria affecting people at different levels and groups including street children, prostitutes, the youth, men and women. Ironically drug abuse is no longer a problem confined to the slums and youths in the urbancenters but also in schools, prisons and the rural areas. In this view drug abuse affect almost everybody in the society but the researcher wants to investigate the danger of drug abuse among youths.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Drug abuse is one of the top problems confronting the nation today especially among the youth. Incidences of drug abuse and related anti-social behavior have tremendously increased in recent years. This has become a matter of concern to the government, parents, teachers, Non-governmental organizations and all other relevant agencies. It is more prevalent than parents suspect. Parents do not recognize the extent of drug use and as a result, some young people think they can use drugs with impunity.