PRACTICE OF SELF-MEDICATION AMONG UNDERGRADUATES. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
1.1Background Of The Study
Medication refers to the act of consuming medicines for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases correct medication is observed by reporting any disease to the physician at the hospital or clinic who diagnoses and prescribes the needed drugs to alleviate the condition. This is usually followed by filling of such prescription at the pharmacy by pharmacists (Femi-Oyewo et al, 2002).Self medication can be defined as the use of drugs to treat self-diagnosed disorder or symptoms or the intermittent or confined use of a prescribed drugs for chronic or recurrent disease or symptoms. Over the counter drugs are a form of self-medication, the buyer diagnoses his own illness and buys a specific drug to treat it (WHO 2000).
Self medication is often seen as gaining personal independence from established Medicare. According to the joint statement by the International Pharmaceutical Federation & World Self-medication Industry, self Medication is the use of non-prescription medicines by people on their own initiative. It also states that:
1. Self-care which includes self medication has been a feature of health care for many years.
2. Nowadays people are been to accept more personal responsibility for their health status and to obtain as much sound information as possible from expert sources in order to help them make appropriate decision in healthcare.
3. Government and health insurers are increasingly encouraging self-care, including self-medication when appropriate as one means of limiting the rate of increase in third party funding of health care.
4. Pharmacist are advisors to the public on everyday healthcare and key factors in the supply of and advice on medicines.
5. Advertising is helpful in informing people about medicines that are available without prescription. It should always be responsible and should not discourage the individual from seeking advice from a pharmacist or physician.
Generally people usually have different remedies for whatever illness you can think of. for example, fever, cold, catarrh, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, body pains, headache etc. friends or even strangers are always ready to advice on which medication to take, this can be dangerous, even though there is usually no immediate consequence. This suggests that self-medication has become a public health threat in our society at large. Consider the fact that in Nigeria most prescription drugs can be bought from pharmacies and patent medicine stores and even along the streets without prescription.
Self-medication is also the act of obtaining and consuming drugs without advice of a doctor either for diagnosis, prescription or surveillance treatment. It should be known that medicines are chemicals which can have both good and bad effect on the human body.
Indeed just as medicines can cure, they can also harm. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defined an undergraduate, as a universally or college student who is studying for their first degree. Some studies have reported alarming rates of self-medication in student population.