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Causes And Consequences Of Drug Abuse And Misuse-Use Among Secondary School Student A Study Of Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State.
1.1 Background to the Study
Since the early times, herbs, leaves and plants have been used to heal and control diseases. The use of drugs in itself does not constitute any danger, because drugs correctly administered have been a blessing. Falco (1988) as cited by Sambo (2008) viewed that “chronic use of substances can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescent’s physical and psychological development. The use of drugs could be beneficial or harmful depending on the mode of use.
Drug is any chemical substance derived from plants, animals or mineral resources, be it traditional or orthodox which is used for internal application to the human body in the treatment of diseases, reduce pain or modify the functions of the various system of the body.
Although drug use has been in for years, the problem of drug abuse has been on the increase in the recent years. Drug is supposed to be dispersed by pharmacists with a doctor’s prescription and usage of drug can be through any of the following; injection, insertion, inhalation, massaging or application on open wounds and cuts. The main purpose of drugs should in reality be directed to its medical functions and it should be used strictly according to the prescription of medical doctors, but in most cases people use drug without the prescription of medical practice. This is referred to as drug abuse. In some cases, these drugs are used wrongly or misused that is using drug meant for certain purposes for other purposes rather than what it is meant for. There are other cases where some people get themselves involved in the use of a particular drug so much that they cannot do without such drug. In this case such a person is said to be addicted to that drug.
Cecilia (2010) opined that medically, drug abuse is the use of drug to an extent that it produces definite impairment of social, psychological or physiological functioning of the user. It is the use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. It refers to the use of a drug for purposes for which it is not intended or using a drug in excessive quantities. Such drugs of abuse include tobacco, barbiturates, amphetamines and narcotics. Drug abuse entails a strong cultural and subjective bias, depends on whether a society at a particular point in time views the use of a particular drug as acceptable or not. Therefore, what is regarded as normal use as against pathological abuse varies greatly from drug, quantity, situation to situation, culture to culture or even among subcultures of the same society.
Furthermore, 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.
It has been observed that much of drugs use among youths take place in schools. The incidence of substance use among students is called high or highness (Eneh and Stanley, 2004). Drug and alcohol use during adolescence is almost always a social experience and a learned behaviour (Swaid 1988). One of the important psychological phenomena observed during this period of adolescence is experimentation (Graham, Turk and Verhulst 1999). This behaviour has been found to lead to the trying out of new experiences such as drug and sex, sometimes with dire consequence for the adolescents.