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Background of the Study
Most of the unpleasant youths activities, which surfaces all countries in the world, are precipitated by the use of harmful drugs and alcohol, (Center for Disease Control, 2012). The rate at which people use drugs are so serious to an extent that they have been a source of concern to the government and international organizations such as World Health Organization, United National International children Emergency Fund (WHO, UNICEF, 2012). WHO (2013) reported that about 85% of young adults in the United States use drugs, an average 1.5 million are being treated for drug abuse everyday.
In addition, up to fifty percent (50%) of American men have problems that are caused by drug abuse (WHO, 2013). The impact of drug among adolescents has been a hall mark of morally bankrupt, decedent, wasted generations, loss of our societal values and ideals. The prevalence rate of drugs particularly among youths in Secondary Schools is one that increases day by day affecting the carrier of our growing generation and unborn ones, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA, 2010).
According to the United States of America reports on drugs usage (2009) states that drug abuse is tearing apart our societies such that crime is increasing disease
such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes (HIV/AIDS) is spreading fast and killing our youths and our future. Studies have shown that Nigerian Youths generally depend on one form of drug or the other for their various social, political, educational and psychological activities. The drugs that are commonly used include Indian Hemp, Tobacco, Alcohol, Benelyn, Petrol and Glue, Diazepam (Johnson, 2012).
A research conducted by UNICEF (2010) revealed that people between the ages of 15 – 30 years are highly vulnerable probably because of the peer group influence. They use drugs for many reasons including curiosity to clam them down and in the events of stress or failure (examination failure) tobacco and alcohol use of young ages increases the use of other drugs later leading to drug abuse and dependence (UNICEF, 2013). The prevalence rate of drug abuse in Nigeria showed 22.1% of school youth aged between 13 and 17 years use tobacco, in South Africa, it is 19.1%, in Ghana 15.1% and in Kenya 16.2%, World Health Organization (WHO, 2011).
Recently, drug abuse among adolescents in Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State is something of concern. There are problems accruing within the local government area, which are primarily caused as a result of negligence in the society at large and monitoring the conducts of their children, whom have found their ways into this illicit act. These negligence ranges from some parents who have failed in their responsibility to train their children in the right direction. Their functions are becoming meaningless to these groups of children and they have nothing to contribute to the well-being of the society.
Although, opinion differs on the use of drug by adolescents, some youths do experiment and stop or continue to use drugs occasionally without significant problems. While others develop addiction (dependence) moving on more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves and society at large (Jerold and Austy, 2009). Yet, drug abuse is too devastating and very shameful to the extent that both nations and International Organizations all over the world are worried about the spread of this scourge amongst adolescents. Despite the efforts of Nigerian Government to curtail and stop the trafficking and circulation of dangerous drugs through agencies like National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), youths and young adults continuously being engaged in the use of more dangerous drugs to enhance their performance (Madaki, 2012).
Due to the reasons given above, the researcher therefore intends to conduct the research on the curbing the incidence of drugs and substance abuse among the adolescents in Mbaikyor Council Ward of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
Statement of the Problem
The increasing rate of drug abuse and other substances consumption among the adolescents in Mbaikyor Council Ward of Kwande Local Government Area, has been a great source of worry and concern to people at the local government level. Drug abuse among adolescents have caused them serious consequences affecting individual’s health and personal life as well as having negative impact on the society.
Drugs use is not a strange phenomenon; the global, regional and national dimension of it are documented. It is in recognition of the complexity of the problem that 26th June of every year has been declared as the International Day Against Abuse and illicit trafficking by United Nations. In its June, 2013 report, the United Nations Children and Education Fund (UNICEF) stated that the problem of HIV/AIDS is inextricably connected to a range of problems, among which is drugs use among children and young people. Similarly, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, 2012) pointed out that drugs use and other substances among “area boys” in Nigeria have been reported as the cause of delinquent behaviours and crime.
The World Health Organization (WHO, 2010) believes that young people are more vulnerable to suffering physical, emotional and social harm from their own or other people’s drug use. It also identifies strong links between the high rate of drinking, violent sexual behaviour, traffic and other accidents and drug use. In relation to tobacco, World Health Organization also estimates that about 250 million children and adolescents who live in developing countries like Nigeria are likely to be killed by tobacco (Stephen, 2010).
The United Nations office on Drug and Crime (UNODC, 2011) partly attributes the prevalence of drug use in Nigeria to street hawking of drugs and pharmaceutical preparation. The prevalence rate of adolescents’ substance and drugs use in our society poses a great concern to health care providers as some end up as addicts. This is quite substantial in the study area.
Purpose of the Study
The main objective of the study is to determine the curbing incidence of drugs and substance abuse among the adolescents in Mbaikyor Council Ward of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State. The study will specifically:
i. Identify the drugs and substances that are abused by Adolescents in
Mbaikyor Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
ii. Find out the incidence rates of the problem among Adolescents in Mbaikyor
Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
iii. Ascertain the negative effects of these drugs and substances on the health of
adolescents in Mbaikyor Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
iv. Find out the possible solutions of drugs and substance abuse in Mbaikyor
Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
Significance of the Study
The present study will reveal the prevalence, pattern, types and sources of drugs and substance abuse used by the adolescents. It will also reveal the characteristics of the youths who use drugs and the problems youths encounter as a result of drug use. These findings are essential as they will help in understanding the overall social, academic and drug problems of the youth in the study area.
This finding would be useful to the parents, teachers, Police and the NDLEA as well as other bodies concerned with checking drug abuse problems in Mbaikyor Council Ward of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State and Nigeria at large.
The findings will provide a source of reference for intervention programmes in Benue state. It is also hoped that the findings of this study will be useful for social monitoring and alerting people to the signs of substance use so as to enable early diagnosis and treatment of affected persons.
It will also assist in planning of preventive strategies for drug use in our tertiary institutions across the country. The finding of this study will be useful to future researchers on the topic, as they will build on the strength and limitations of the study.
And the finding of the study may spur them to form anti-psychoactive drug use clubs and associations. The activities of these groups can reach the wider society and will assist in curbing the menace of drugs abuse in the study area and the country at large.
The present study wills no doubt, spur interest for further studies.
i. What are the drugs and substances that are abused by Adolescents in Mbaikyor
Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State?
ii. What is the incidence rates of the problem among Adolescents in Mbaikyor
Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State?
iii. What are the negative effects of these drugs and substances on the health of
adolescents in Mbaikyor Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State?
iv. What are the possible solutions that could be adopted to curb the menace of
drugs and substance abuse in Mbaikyor Council Ward in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State?
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is dealt on the curbing the incidence of drugs and substance abuse among the adolescents in Mbaikyor Council Ward of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State. It is expected to note that the problems associated with the incidence of drugs and substance abuse among the adolescents would have been exposed in the study area.
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