KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF DRUG USE AND ABUSE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
The use of drugs dates back into the pre-history of man. Such drugs were used to relieve pain or cure and control diseases (Curew and Dibal, 1999). Drugs as defined by the World Health Organization (1967) is any substance which taken by living organisms may modify the functions of living organism. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC, 1999), stated that situations of ill-health provide the compelling need for drugs that is in order to modify the functions of the body and restore it to life. However, the major issue with drugs is not in its use for curative purposes but in the abuse and misuse of these drugs especially when these drugs are psychoactive drugs.
The consumption level of hard drugs has risen sharply in Nigeria within the last two decades. Such drugs like heroine, cocaine, cannabis and even alcohol have in recent times become so easily accessible by individuals of much cancer is the high prevalence of the use of these drugs among adolescents. Adolescents use drugs for several reasons among which are, for experimentation, mere fun and excitement, peer pressure, to get over depression and other psychological problems, etc.
However, the use of these drugs among young people has so much effect on individuals, families and the society at large. The problems range from social, psychological, economical and even political problems. This paper therefore seeks to find out the reasons for drug use among secondary school students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State and the perception of the effects of these drugs on the health and academic performance of students.
1.2 Statement of Problems
The use of hard drugs including alcohol and cigarette is a major source of health and psychological problems among adults and young people in both developed and developing countries, including Nigeria. It is generally believed that most people who use these substances often begin at an early age and may continue throughout life.
Adolescent stage is usually viewed as a period of experimentation where young people seek to go beyond the protective shelter of adults thus involving in activities that are often detrimental to their health and well-being, such as the use of drugs. Despite hazards and other implications of drug use and use of these substances among young people, this study therefore seeks to find out the factors that contribute to this and proffer solution to address these issues.
1.3 Research Questions
- What substances are commonly abused by students in secondary schools?
- What factors influence the use of drugs among students in secondary school?
- Does awareness of health risk associated with hard drugs influence its use by students in secondary schools?
- Are students aware of the implications of drug use?
1.4 Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to examine in detail the use and abuse of drugs among secondary school students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
The study also seeks to identify the most commonly abused substances and the factors that contribute to the use of these substances.
Finally, this study intends to find out the knowledge and perception of the health risk and other implications of drug use among students.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is expected that this study will make the following contributions to the advancement of drug use and abuse especially among young people.
It will provide necessary information and create awareness on the extent of drug use among students. This will help parents, teachers and indeed all stakeholders to plan intervention programmes that will help solve the problem of drug use in the society. It is also expected to educate students on the implications of drug use and thus prompt them to make informed decisions on drug use.
1.6 Scope of Study
This study is limited to selected secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
The researcher encountered some problems in the course of this study. These problems include lack of sufficient time and adequate resources to effectively embark on the study. There was also difficulty in eliciting information from the students on drug abuse.