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The influence of social Stratification Academic performance of students in Government Secondary Schools

The influence of social Stratification on Academic performance of students in Government Secondary Schools




       A drug refers to a substance that could bring about a change in the biological function through its chemical action (Okoye, 2001). It is also considered as a substance that modifies perceptions, cognitions, mood, behavior and general body functions (Balogun, 2006). They could thus, be considered as chemical modifiers of the living tissues that could bring about physiological and behavioural changes (Nnachi, 2007).

       Drug abuse is a major public health problem all over the world (UNODC, 2005). The use and abuse of drugs 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 a long period of time. Some become insane, maladjusted to school situations and eventually drop out of school.

       According to Fawa (2003). “Drug is defined as any substance, which is used fro treatment or prevention of a disease in man and animals. Drug alters the body functions either positively or otherwise depending on the composition of the user, the type of drug used, the amount used and whether used singly or with other drugs at the same time”.

       NAFDAC(2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) explained the term drug abuse as excessive and persistent self –administration of a drug without regard to the medically or culturally accepted patterns. It could also be viewed as the use of a drug to the extent that it interferes with the health and social function of an individual. World Book Encyclopedia (2004) defined drug abuse as the non-medical use of drug that interferes with a healthy and productive life. Manbe (2008) defined drug abuse as the excessive maladaptive or additive use of drugs for non-medical purpose.

       Abdulahi (2009) viewed drug abuse “as the use of the drugs to the extent that interferes with the health and social functions of an individual”. In essence, drug abuse may be defined as the arbitrary overdependence or misuse of one particular drug with or without a prior medical diagnosis from qualified health practitioners. It can also be viewed as the unlawful over dose in the use of drug(s).

       Odijide (2000) warned that drug abusers who exhibit symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, behavior changes fatigue and loss or increase in appetite should be treated by medical experts and counselors to save them from deadly diseases.


According to the United Nations office on Drugs and crime (UNODC) Report, 2005), some 200 million people or 5 percent of the world’s population aged 15-64 have used drugs at least once in the last 12 months -15 months more than the previous years estimate. Likewise, according to the (world Drug report, 2005), the use of illicit drugs in all nations has increased in recent years. The report goes on to note that the increasing availability of a variety of drugs to an ever widening socio-economic spectrum of consumers is disconcerting, although the main problem at the global level continues to be opiates (notably heroine) followed by cocaine for most of Europe and Asia. Opiates accounted for 62 percent of all drug treatment sought in 2003 while 3.3 to 4.1 percent of the global population admits to consuming drugs. The most worrisome trend for the UNCP Executive Director is the younger ages at which people are becoming addicted. In Pakistan for example, the share of those who started heroine use at 15-20 years of age has doubled to almost 24 percent. A survey in the Zech Republic showed that 37 percent of new drugs users were teenagers between 15 and 19years old. In Egypt, drug use-in particular heroine use is becoming a serious problem and nearly 6 percent of secondary school student admit to having experimented with drugs.

       Secondly an American teenage boy once protested before his parents saying. Alcohol and coffee are the choice of your generation, drugs and tobacco are the choice of my generation. The only difference is that your drugs are legal and ours have been made illegal by your generation (Awake, 1980).

       Research of the seventies have shown that 70 percent of students in American colleges and Universities smoke or have used marijuana (Indian hemp). In Canada marijuana smoking by high school students jumped form 6 to 7 percent in 1968 to 22. 9 percent in 1974 and now it is assumed that about 24 to 26 million Americans and 3 million Canadians smoke marijuana. In some Canadians cities, children as young as nine years of age have been known to “school speed,” that is, they are injected with amphetamines. Also, in Canada, children of six years of age, reports say, are beginning to get into “soft drugs” (Adeyemi,1987).

       Drugs abuse has a negative impact on the education of secondary school students. The overall health of the user is affected negatively and behaviours associated with drug abuse predispose the abuser to crime and contagious diseases including HIV/AIDS (CDC, 2000). Drug abuse has thus become a national concern in Nigeria, given its impacts on education and future leadership, innovations and human resources. Secondary school students are particularly at risk given that they are in their formative years of education, career development, social skills and identity formation.

       Reports from education officials in Bayelsa State suggest that students are using alcohol and Nicotine, in particular, at a rate that is causing concern. Despite National Agency for food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other organization based interventions, drug abuse is on the rise with over 40% of students abusing various types of drugs. Drug abuse appears to be a well-entrenched behavior among secondary school students. In shopping centres and other public spaces, students who have dropped out of school because of drug abuse, can be found loitering and participating in other forms of criminal activity. Given the availability, consequences and increasing use of drug in Nigeria, it is important to establish student’s perception of drugs and substance abuse and how these perceptions influence their behavior when it comes to drugs users. It is against this background that the current study was undertaken. This study seeks to establish the effects of drug abuse among secondary school students and critically analyze the strategies that can be used to address the situation.


     The rate at which drugs are abused in the State and within the environment motivated the researcher to investigate the problem.

       In Northern zone of the State the rate in which secondary school students indulge in drug addiction are getting to an alarming rate. Infact, it is getting out of hand to control their behavior in the school and in the society at large.

       Much harm has been done to the student and the entire society through this illicit behavior. Some student has dropped out of school, some have become mad and some others turned to armed robbers and assassins. It is against these backdrops that the research is conducted.


      The overall purpose of this study is to assess drug abuse among students in secondary schools in Nigeria, assess student’s perception of drugs and analyze the strategies used to address the problem. This study aspires to contribute to the knowledge and understanding needed to intimately help decrease drug abuse among students.

       The specific purpose of this study is to:

  1. Examine the causes and extent of drug abuse among secondary school students.
  2. Identify commonly abused drugs among secondary school students.
  3. Identify effects of drugs and substance abuse
  4. Identify and evaluate strategies used in secondary school to address drug abuse and the effectiveness and shortcomings of these strategies.


       The purpose of the study was to provide information that will serve as a wake-up call for today’s busy parents about the importance of creating a conducive environment for their children’s growth under discipline. It is also meant to help the school in understanding the root causes of the student misconduct so that the institution can find ways to encourage their (student) inner qualities by building a sense of self worth. The information will also be useful to counselors, community workers and other therapists who seek to promote emotional, mental and physical health of the society.

       The rational behind the study is to examine the implication of drugs to the users especially students in different institutions in Oyi Local Government of the State (Anambra).

       The findings will help the parents, teachers, government, students as well as researchers to realize the evil effect of drug addicted habit in our society especially student who have formed it as a way of life or otherwise called school life. By realizing the implication they will put it to a stop of such habit.


  1. What are the causes of drug abuse among students of secondary school?
  2. What are the commonly abused drugs among secondary school students?
  3. How does drug abuse affect student in secondary school.
  4. What are the strategies of addressing drug abuse among secondary school students?


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