PROMOTING NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE PREVENTION OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUTHS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Over the years, different forms of government, religious bodies and organizations have frowned on the menace of drug abuse; because it does no good but rather causes more harm to the individual involved, those around him/her and the country as a whole. The Nigerian media on a daily basis reports cases of Nigerians who either indulge in drug trafficking or drug abuse.
Drug abuse is an obvious public health issue all over the world (UNODC, 2005). The wrong use of drugs by Nigerian youths has been of much concern to the government and health organizations across the country (NDLEA, 1997).
Drug is a substance used in the treatment of health challenges to obtain sound health. Drugs react on the body either positively or negatively depending on how it is taken by the user (Fawa, 2003).
Drug is said to be abused when it is self-administered, taken in excess and when it is not medically proven to heal a certain kind of ailment (NAFDAC, (2000) as cited by Haladu, 2003). It refers to the use of drugs in a manner that the social and mental stability of a person is affected. Drug abuse according to World Book Encyclopedia (2004) refers to when an individual opts for drugs without the doctor’s prescription and by the reason of taking those drugs his entire life becomes a nightmare. The possible outcome of drug abuse is that the individual becomes addictive that he cannot live a normal life without it. The emerging trend of drug abuse has greatly increased that it seems we have come to accept those who indulge in it; and if right measures are not put in place, our society will be flooded with drug bandits (Brown, and Kreft, 1998).
The youths of any society are the strong hope of tomorrow such a society has. They are the pillars and the future of any society and that is the reason their activities need to be watched closely to ensure they are on the right track towards building the society into what it should be. Kudos to the Nigerian government who refuses to take chances by adopting the juvenile court saddled with the responsibility of correcting children between ages twelve and seventeen (Banwell, and Young, 1993). It has been proven statistically people between ages 15-35 years are preferred to be used by drug barons to run their deals.
The scars made by drug abuse on Nigerian youths and the society at large cannot be allowed to continue. It has languished a lot of talents, skills, brains and man power that could contribute meaningfully to the all-round growth of the country.
The causes of drug abuse are tied to peer pressure, bad parental training, bad company in school, stress and child abuse (Brown, and Kreft, 1998).
Drug abuse has become a social problem in the Nigerian society that irrespective of the various measures put in place both by governmental and non-governmental institutions to curb it; it is still traced in our society. Unfortunately, the youths in our society are really the core victims of this anti-social activity of drug abuse. Many of them who ought to either be in school or learning one skill or the other are seen in some isolated parts of the street using drugs like cocaine, tobacco, alcohol, amphetamine derivatives which are detrimental to their health and the growth of the economy.
From the foregoing, it therefore imperative for both the government and non-governmental organizations to step-up on their plans and programmes in other to bring a lasting solution to the social phenomenon of drug abuse in our society; and that is why this study is meant to give an insight on how drug abuse can be prevented among Nigerian youths in other to promote national development. As mentally and socially sound young individuals make a great and formidable nation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In our contemporary society, drug abuse is a moral decadence that has affected the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Sociologically, youths who are into drug abuse affect peaceful co-existence of citizens, as those drugs tend to make them feel high that they degrade people around them. These hard drugs trigger youths to indulge in violence, thus disrupting the state of peace in the society.
In addition, the background of a child could contribute to drug abuse by a child. Research has proven that a greater percentage of children from broken homes, wedlock, polygamous homes, troubled homes, etc tend to push children into drug abuse. Children from such homes are not shown love and care, thus they resort to hard drugs for succor.
Similarly, some children who indulge in drug abuse imitate their parents, most especially the fathers. Parents who indulge in drug abuse act as bad influence on their wards, as they would like to toe the parts of their fathers. Coupled with the fact that the high level of poverty in the country has equally pushed parents to go hustling for ends meet that they barely have time to look into the affairs of their children.
Finally, some youths are emotionally stressed that they do not feel comfortable relating their feelings to others, most especially those older than them. Probably because they feel they will not give good counsel out of their problems. Thus, they resort to taking hard drugs to ease their stress.
Discussed above are just a few of the various negative impacts of drug abuse on both the youths and the country at large; which is quite devastating, and that is why national and international bodies are trying to eradicate this social menace.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is to determine ways of Promoting National Development through the prevention of drug abuse among youths.
Other specific objectives include:
a) To determine the correlation between drug abuse and the nation’s economy.
b) To examine the extent to which information on drug abuse is disseminated to youths in the grassroots.
c) To determine the best ways to treat youths found indulging in drug abuse.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are generated to guide this study:
a) What are the ways of Promoting National Development through the prevention of drug abuse among Nigerian youths?
b) What is the correlation between drug abuse and the nation’s economy?
c) What level of information on drug abuse is disseminated to youths in the grassroots?
d) What are the best ways to treat youths found indulging in drug abuse?
1.5 RESEARCH OF HYPOTHESIS
H0: There are no ways of Promoting National Development through the prevention of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
H1: There are ways of Promoting National Development through the prevention of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to educate, inform, sensitize and enlighten the general public, the government, non-governmental organizations and policy makers on how to Promote National Development through the prevention of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
General public being referred to comprise the young, old, literate and illiterate members of the society; which the issue of drug abuse concerns. This study is coming because it wants to educate every single person in the society on the dangers of drug abuse. In other for those who are already in the act to desist, those who are not to avoid thoughts of indulging in it.
The government and non-governmental organizations have been trying to enlighten the public through their programmes and even through setting up some health bodies like NAFDAC, NDLEA to help eradicate drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
Similarly, these international and national non-governmental organizations need to embark on campaigns in all levels of education in the country (primary, secondary and tertiary institutions). Therefore, this study aims at encouraging them to do more than they have done in the past years.
Also, policy makers are not left out as they need to formulate policies that will reappraise the need to promote national development through the prevention of drug abuse among youths.
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to Promoting National Development through the prevention of drug abuse among youths in Nigeria.
Limitations of study
- 1. Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- 2. Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- PROMOTING: To contribute to the progress or growth of something.
- NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Is the ability of a county or countries to improve the social welfare of the people e.g. by providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, transportation infrastructure, medical care, etc.
- PREVENTION: This is the action of stopping something from happening or arising.
- DRUG ABUSE: 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 a drug that interferes with a healthy and productive life.
Manbe (2008) defined drug abuse as the excessive, maladaptive or addictive use of drugs for non-medical purpose.
- YOUTH: This is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity).
- NAFDAC (NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL): Is a Nigerian federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water.
- NDLEA (NATIONAL DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY): Is a Federal agency in Nigeria charged with eliminating the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting, and trafficking of hard drugs. The agency was established by Decree Number 48 of January 1990. The NDLEA is present in international airports, seaports and border crossing. It tries to eradicate cannabis by destroying plantings. The NDLEA also targets the leaders of narcotics and money laundering organizations.
United Nations Organizations on Drug Council (UNODC) (2005). “World Health Organization Expert Committee on Dependence Producing Drugs. Fourteenth Report Urban Adolescents”, Child Development, 61, 2032-2046. World Book Encyclopedia (2004). Vol. 6, Chicago: World Book.
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (1997). Drug data collection and research, Lagos: Drug Demand Reduction Unit, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
Fawa, M.S. (2003). Drug abuse eradication programme in schools: The relevance of team, approach alternative, in A. Garba (Ed)
Youth and drug abuse in Nigeria: Strategies for counselling, management and control, Kano: Matasa Press.
Haladu, A.A. (2003). Outreach strategies for curbing drug abuse among out-of-school youth in Nigeria: A challenge for community Based Organization (CBOS), in A. Garba (ed). Youth and drug abuse in Nigeria: Strategies for counseling, management and control. Kano: Matosa Press.
Brown, J. H., & Kreft, I. G. (1998). Zero effects of drug prevention programs: Issues and solutions. Evaluation Review, 22, 3-14.
Banwell, C. L., & Young, D. (1993). Rites of passage: Smoking and the construction of social identity. Drug and Alcohol Review, 12, 377-385.