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THE MENACE OF DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF MARARABA TOWN, KARU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Firstly, I consider it very important and necessary to define drug before writing on the main subject matter of this research work. Therefore one need to ask what really is drug? Since the early times, herbs, leaves and plants have been use 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.
A drug refers to a substance that could bring about a change in the biological function through its chemical actions (Okoye, 2001). It is also considered as a substance that modifies perceptions, cognition, mood, behaviour and general body functions (Balogun, 2006). Thus, be considered as chemical modifiers of the living tissues that could bring about physiological and behavioural changes (Nnachi, 2007).
Drug abuse is a major public health problem all over the world (UNODC) (2005). The use and abuse of drugs by adolescents have become one of the most disturbing health related phenomena in Nigeria and other parts of the world (NDLEA; 1997).Several school going adolescents experience mental health programme, either temporarily or for a long period of time.
Some become insane, maladjusted to school situations and eventually drop out of school.
According to Fawa (2003), “Drug is defined as any substance, which is used for treatment or prevention of a disease in man and animals. Drug alters the body functions either positively or otherwise depending on the body composition of the user, the type of drug used, the amount used and whether used singly or with other drugs at the same time”. 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.
Abdulahi (2009) viewed drug abuse as the use of drugs to the extent that interferes with the health and social function of an individual. In essence, drug abuse may be defined as the arbitrary overdependence or mis-use of one particular drug with or without a prior medical diagnosis from qualified health practitioners. It can also be viewed as the unlawful overdose in the use of drug(s).
Odejide (2000) warned that drug abusers who exhibit symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, behaviour changes, fatigue and loss or increase in appetite should be treated by medical experts and counselors to save them from deadly diseases.
On the other hand, we can on the broad sense define drug as any man made, natural or endogenous molecule which excretes a biochemical and physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ or organism. It is very important to note here that drugs are capable of being toxic and all drugs can produce unwanted effects in a high dose or if taken incorrectly. Therefore, the difference between poison and medicine is merely a matter of concentration.