Impact of drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State
Background to the Study
Every family and every child today is exposed to an ever growing presence of drugs. It is not just the troubled “teens and slackers that are using drugs. Since prehistorically times students, athletes and ordinary kids have turned to drugs to lessen physical pain or alter their state of consciousness. Drug use was generally limited to people who had reached maturity or very particular situation. Currently drug use and abuse is very serious social and public health problem that generates great social concern. Also temptation, curiosity, and desensitization by the media lead otherwise good kids to make bad choices. Stable families and good schools provides only some protection.
In interviews with students who use drugs with their parents, it is clear that there is no absolute barrier to drug use. According to Aguene (1999), drug is any chemical compound or non-infectious substance either than food which, when taken into the body, helps to change the chemical, physical and mental stage of the body.
According to Igba (2004:36) opined that “a drug is any substance used in the composition of medicine”. He stated that some of them, when used under medical prescription, have healing power to the consumer. In his own view, Portner (1998) stated that some drugs throughout history have been used to change the mental state of individual under influence. In line with the above assertion Mayo (2005) post that drug is any chemical substance, be it natural or synthetic in origin which can be used to alter the psychological state of an individuals.
However, according to Oxford Advance learners’ Dictionary “Abuse” is wrong use of things without due regards to the accepted practice. Aguene (1999) affirms that drug abuse makes their adherents to be useless and selfish so that they cannot contribute effective to their societies. In his view Igba (2004) saw drug abuse as the consumption or the administering of any chemical substance without medical prescription. He asserted that excessive consumption of such drugs could be dangerous to the individual and the society at large based on the affirmation, Wolfgang (1990) saw drug abuse as the use of drugs without medical advise or direction and which could be harmful to the health of the concerned and the entire society. Thus, drug abuse, also called substance abuse or chemical abuse is a disorder that is characterizes by a destructive pattern of using substance that leads to significant problems involving tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance, either socially or in terms of their work or school performance.
According to Kobiowu (2006), drug abuse includes the indiscriminate sale of drugs by unlicensed medicine dealers, drug addiction, taking expired drugs, over-dose or under dose of proper diagnosis. He also explained that drug abuse includes unhygienic storage of drug and exposure to heat or temperature not recommended by the drug manufacturer. In all, Oxford Advance learner Dictionary, viewed drug abuse as wrong use of things without due regards to the accepted practice.
Igba (2004), outlined the drugs commonly abused as follows: opium, cocaine, alcohol, heroine, India hemp. The sales and consumption of these drugs have caused many problems to the Nigerian society and the international community coupled with the damages done to the body and mental capacities of the individuals. Also, Okereke (2004) stated that what has been an urban problem has stretched across the country to the small cities and rural areas. He equally observed that abuse of drugs has became a universal problem that affects almost every country of the world to a large extent. Robertson, E.B., David, S.L and Rao, S.A. (2003) also observed that self prescription is common but constitutes health problem to the ignorant people. It can lead to drug addiction, over dosage of drug, wrong diagnosis by the individual, and even the consumption of expired drugs which could be hazardous to the health of the user. It is a common practice among youths especially secondary school students, do buy different types of drugs for their own use without the prescription of the physician as to the dosage and impact on the body. (Wolfang, 1990). He observed that this problem is complicated by the existence of drug peddlers and hawkers, patient stores and chemists who sales different drugs to people. This situation, according to him has contributed so much to the abuse of drugs by students. With the above explanation of drug abuse, Okereke (2004) stated that drug abuse has also caused a lot of social disorder. People abuse drugs for certain reasons. Broken home could be a contributory factor to drug abuse.
According to Bozarth (2001), pointed out that when parental care is lacking in the home, children remain unguided and as a result could get into association with people of questionable characters. Thus, they resort to drugs in order to find solution to their matrimonial problems. Taiwo (1991), argued that people abuse drugs because of frustration in life. In respect to the above points, Igba (2004) stated that deviant and delinquent sub- groups can adopt the consumption of drugs as a result of showing their grievances with the society. He also observed that unemployment, a break from work and a need to relax can lead to idle youths or students into drug intake as a part time program.
Furthermore, drug abuse has created a lot of hindrances and cumbersome to the society. These problems, according to Odejide (1999) include increase in crime rate, metal disorder, untimely death, fatal accidents, prostitution, health hazard, over staying of program and restlessness. In view of this, Leiser, (1993) maintain that drug abuse constitutes a major public health hazard and social disorganization (e.g.) riots, rampage, demonstration, etc. He further stated that termination of studentship, armed robbery, child abuse, accident amongst others are the consequences of drug abuse. Okonkwo (1991) stated that serious attempt at the eradication or reduction of drug abuse should be pursued relentlessly inspite of obvious failure.
He also emphasized that parents should educate their children about the dangers associated with drug abuse. In his own assertion, Turner (2003) stated categorically clear that the best way of eradicating the problems is to give the people especially the youths education and enlightment programmes so that they will be aware of the dangers of drug addiction and thus be in a position to say “NO” to drug abuse. These have motivated the researcher to carry out a study on drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State with a view to exploring the impacts of drug abuse on academic performance of students in secondary schools in the area.
Statement of the Problem
Drug trafficking is a very risky business but many Nigerian youths/teenagers are seriously engaging in it. Many of them caught at home or abroad are either killed or sentenced to various terms of imprisonment (Igba 2004). The rate at which drugs are abused in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has risen to an alarming proportion, especially among secondary school students. This has constituted very serious problems among secondary school students of Ebonyi Local Government Area in particular and Ebonyi State in general. Despite the efforts of the government to eradicate drug abuse among students in secondary schools, the menace is still on increase leading to health hazard, social disorganization, armed robbery, accident, untimely death, termination of studentship etc. These do not augur well with the economic, political and social development of the nation.
It is high time the government, school authorities, parents/guidance and other concerned agencies rose to their responsibilities. This is consequent upon the fact that the problems are identified and adequately checked. There will be increase number of social dropouts, mental disorder, increase crime rate, fatal accident among other social ill if not checked. It is based on this note that the researcher is motivated to carryout a study and ask “What are the impact of drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to find out the impact of drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study is design to;
- Find out the impact of drug abuse on academic performance of secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Find out the kinds of drug commonly abused among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Find out the causes of drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Find out the danger associated with drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Significant of the Study
The study will be of great significant to the students, parents, school authorities and the society in general. The result of the study will help the students discover some health hazard associated with drug abuse. Parents will also find out on how family background contributes to abuse drugs and as a result, make necessary adjustments to save this ugly trend which have been eating the fabric of the nation.
It will also be beneficiary to researchers because researchers may discovered the dangers associated with drug abuse. Armed with this knowledge, they will stand in a better position to educate the students on the need to stay free from drugs. The result of the study will equally be of much important to other researchers who may wish to carryout research on a related aspect of the topic.
Furthermore, when making a decision about whether to take drugs, it is important for you to know the fact about the drugs you choose, and understand the risks related to taking the drugs. Feeling confuse whether or not taking drugs is the right choice for you is not unusual. Drug can appear initially to have positive effects lifting your mood, relaxing you or even giving you more energy .However, they can also have negative impacts on your mental and physical health, your relationships and your life in general.
Scopes of the Study
This study is delimited to the impact of drug abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The study also seeks to find out the kinds of drugs mostly abuse, dangers associated with drug abuse, cause of drug abuse among secondary school students. The study is limited to secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The following research questions are formulated to guide the study:
- What are the impact of drug abuse on academic performance of secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
- What are the kinds of drugs commonly abused among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi state?
- What are the causes of drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.?
- What are the dangers associated with drug abuse among secondary school students in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?