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This research work is to examine substance abuse among youths in Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Also to know the strategies and short comings of the strategies in combating substance abuse. One location was conveniently picked for the study using random sampling technique 190 questionnaires were administered. All data collected were analyzed and presented in tables for clarity and easy comprehension. The major findings is that peer group and idleness plays a role in youths taking drugs. Some youths take it to build their esteem while others take it for pleasure. Codeine (Cough syrup). Is the highest substance abused followed by cannabis and valium, while Algae (gutter) is the lowest used. Strategies used are arrest and public enlightenment. Shortcomings of these strategies are finance, logistics, and manpower. This leads to the conclusion that every person has a role to play in combating the menace of drugs and substances abuse i.e. family, teachers, religious leaders, community and Government. The researcher recommended Government should try and create job opportunities for the youths to engage them on something doing, that will stop them and reduce their tension, which can lead them to drugs and alcohol substance abuse, and should provide resources for more studies on the topic of drug and alcohol abuse.  



1.1     Background of the Study

Substance abuse has always been an international problem because of its associated harmful effect on the health as well as social and economic life of an individual and the society at large. According to a United Nations Office of drug 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 million more than the persons years estimate. 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 available ability of a variety of drugs to an ever widening           socio-economic spectrum of consumers is disconcerting, although the main problem all the global level countries to be opiates notably Heroin and Cocaine. The most worrisome trend for the United Nation Drug Control Programme (UNDCP).

Executive Director is, the younger ages at which people are becoming addicted. A survey in Nigeria showed that 37 percent of new drug users were teenagers between the ages of 15 – 19 years old (Okoh, 2010).

Experimentation with substances among youth is not uncommon. However, studies have shown that youths who experiment with substances at a young age are more likely to use other drugs later in life – some youths’ exposure may be limited to experimentation but other lend to develop into dependency, even moving to dangerous substances and causing significant harm to themselves and possibly others. To complicate the matter, most youths who abuse substances also have a diagnosable mental disorder. Youths that abuse substances have higher prevalence of psychological problems compared with the general youth/adolescent population (Stanley, 2012).

The use of illicit drugs and/or hard substances by a significant number of youths has increased worldwide. Increased use over the past decades, tends towards multiple use of substance at earlier age of onset has all been noticed among these youths (Adelekan, 2011). The impact of drug abuse among Nigerian youths has been considered a moral decadent. Drug abuse has made the face of the Nigerian youths rough and brought shame to our society. The Nigerian youths are deliberately using drugs illegally, unlawfully and internationally.              

Epidemiology studies also show that much of the substance abuse among youths takes place in schools (Swadi, 2010). Since substance abuse especially in early adolescence interferes with normal development, studies of school population is therefore importance for an understanding of the factors and dynamics associated with substance abuse in the adolescent population.

Substances for which a diagnosis of abuse, or dependence can apply include; Alcohol, Amphetamines, Cannabis, Cocaine, Hallucinogen, inhalants, opiods, phencyclidines and sedatives (Bukstein, 2008). Substance abuse in youth is associated with many detrimental consequences including risky sexual behaviors, increased risk of suicides, accidental deaths, and Hepatitis (Deas, 2011).

In Nigeria, this issue of substance abuse has been a serious concern for the society. This is because, in recent times, the rate at which youths abuse substance/drugs have been so alarming and worrisome that much effort have been made to eradicate it. As the youths are abusing drugs, the effort being made to eradicate it is losing strength. Drug abuse and addiction have destructive or devastating consequences but our youths are still into drugs. “Not only that it destroys the affected individual but it has a pervasive effect on all those who know or work with the individual (Barber, 2007).              Drug addiction is a tragedy in our Nigerian society.     

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The efforts to fight drug abuse have become a dominant political, economic, health and social phenomenon in recent, but no significant indication showing that drug abuse is totally eradicated. Robbins, (2002), explains that the rapid proliferation of medicines stores where virtually any type of drug can be bought whether such drug is over the counter drug (OCD) or prescription type is contributing to the problem of drug abuse. Additionally the increase in peer group influence and perhaps influence of cults in schools have escalated the problem of drug abuse. Adolescence in Kawo are involved greatly into substance/drug abuse. Drug/Substance Commonly abused by adolescence are Cannabies (Wiroi), Caffeine (Coffee), alcohol, Inhalants, Sedatives (Valium), cough syrup, Tramol, Cigarette Smoking, which the consequences they face are weight loss, malnourished, unhealthy skin, redness of the eyes, exaggerated self confidence, memory loss, violence, marital crisis, stealing, hypertension, cough, delinquency, tremor etc. This trend is of serious concern, hence the need to undertake this research on substance abuse among adolescence in Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna.

1.3     Statement of Purpose

Problem of adolescence engaging themselves in the taking of un-prescribed drugs are substances in Kawo Area of concern.        

1.4     Significance of the Study

It is the researcher opinion that this study will be beneficial and of immense value to individual’s policy make as well as non-governmental organization in tackling the problem of drug and substance abuse. It will also help the health care givers to educate the adolescence on the dangers of taking substance. This study will add to existing knowledge on drug and substance abuse and be a base for the community to be vigilant on the attitude of adolescence in relation to drugs and substances intake.

1.5     Justification of the Study

To assess the effect of drugs/substance abuse among adolescent ages              14 – 40years, and to create possible means of reducing the intake of drugs/substances.

1.6     Broad Objective

The study aimed at examine the incidence of drug and substance abuse among adolescent in Kawo Kaduna North Local Government Area.        

1.7     Specific Objective

          The specific objective of this topic is:

i)                   To identify the type of substance/drug commonly used among adolescent of Kawo.

ii)                To examine the causes of substance/drug abuse among adolescent in Kawo.

iii)              To identity strategies used to address drug abuse adopted by government and others to curtail drug abuse in Kawo.

1.8     Research Questions

i)                   What are the commonly abused substance among adolescent in Kawo?

ii)                What are the causes of drug/substance among adolescent in Kawo?

iii)              What are the strategies used to address drug/substance abuse among adolescent in Kawo?

1.9     Operational Definition of Terms

-         Abuse: The persistent and indiscriminate use of drugs without considering it’s dangers.

-         Adolescent: A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not reached maturity.

-         Adolescence: The period between puberty and maturity in male 14-25 while female 12-21 years (Bailliere’s 24 editions).

-         Dependence: A compulsion to use drugs which failure to use such drug can generate marked physical or psychosocial distress.       

-         Drugs: Is defined as a chemical substance in solid, liquid or gaseous state derived from plant, animal soil or synthetic source which possesses physiological, role and may be used for diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of diseases of plants, animal or man.

-         Drug Abuse: Is a recurrent use of any substance that is hazardous to health.

-         Drug Addiction: Can also be called drug dependence, is a situation in which someone relies on the help and support of drugs in order to enist or function successfully. It is characterized by strong cravings for a particular drug or group of drugs.

-         Health: This is a continuum that ranges from optimum mental health at one end to severe and persistent mental health disorders at the other end, with emotional problems lying somewhere in the middle.

-         Illicit Drugs: Drugs whose use, possession or sale is illegal.

-         Psychoactive Substance: Any substance (drug) that people take to change either the way they feel, think or behave. This includes alcohol and tobacco as well as natural and manufactured drugs.

-         Side Effects: Secondary effects, usually undesirable, of a drug or substance after usage.

-         Substance. (Also called drug). It refers to illegal substances that some people smoke, inject, etc. to give them pleasant or exciting feelings.              

-         Withdrawal Syndrome: A group of reactions or behaviour that follows abrupt cessation of the use of a substance upon which the body has become dependent. May include anxiety, insomnia, perspiration, hot flashes, tremors, dehydration, weakness dizziness, convulsion and psychotic behaviour. 

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