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Knowledge Attitude And Practice Of Youths Towards Drug Abuse


The purpose of this study was to investigate ―Knowledge and Use of Psychoactive Substances among Undergraduate Students of university of uyo Ex-post facto research design was used to study 327 subjects from twelve faculties of the university. The subjects were drawn through stratified random sampling proportionate and convenient sampling techniques. A closed ended questionnaire type was used to obtain responses from the subjects. Data collected for this study were analysed using descriptive statistics of frequency, percentages and inferential statistics of chi square and t-test at 0.05 alpha level of significance. The findings showed that there was significant relationship between psychoactive substances use and age of the undergraduate students. it was recommended that early health education on the effect of psychoactive substance use on the health of the students should commence before gaining admission into the University. Also, more awareness should be created on the ideal meaning and classification of psychoactive substance abuse and should be made available in learning courses, guidance and counseling centers. Those students‘ whose parents are dead became more prone to drug abuse, and should be given special counseling and attention by the authorities.

1.0 Background of the Study

Drug abuse as indicated by Laver (1978), basically implies the ill-advised utilization of drugs to the extent that the consequences got detrimental to the client and additionally the general public. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2006), characterized drug abuse as a condition of occasional or constant inebriation, detrimental to the people and to the general public, delivered by the rehashed utilization of a drug.
Some different drugs have been seen as fit for delivering impacts that are not gainful but rather hurtful (Oloyede, 1996). The term drug abuse, applies just to examples in which individuals consume medications absolutely to change their states of mind, and in which individuals experience disabled practices because of doing such (Wallace and Fisher 1987). Shockingly, when individuals devour cognizance adjusting drugs all the time, they frequently create reliance and come to require the drug, and can’t work without it. As per Odejide, Ohaeri, Adelekan and Ihuesan (1987), they commented that psychoactive substance abuse is a typical issue among young people particularly for the socially worthy drugs like liquor and cigarettes. A study of auxiliary school understudies in Ilorin, Kwara State revealed that 12 percent were utilizing liquor (Abiodun, Adelekan, Ogunremi, Oni and Obayan, 1994).
Data collected by Eke (1997), from 640 secondary school students aged 14 years or older in the former Anambra State in Nigeria using self-administered questionnaire found that 57 percent of the students had used alcohol. Similarly, a survey conducted by Adelekan (2000), using a sample of 988 university students in Ilorin- Nigeria, found the rate of current users of alcohol to be 18.5 percent A study conducted by Obot, (2001), among 292 out-of-school male adolescents in an urban area of Central Nigeria (aged 11 to 20 years) found that more than one- third 38.7 percent of the sample had taken alcohol at least once in their lives. The average age of self-initiated drinking was 13.2 years (SD=2.7). Past years prevalence of beer use was 28.1 percent while that of palm wine use was 17.1 percent Similarly, a study conducted by Eneh and Stanley (2004), on the pattern of substance use among one thousand and forty-nine (1049) students of four secondary schools in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria using self- administered questionnaire revealed that eighty-seven percent of the respondents were using at least one substance, at the time of the survey while 3 percent were past users in the last one-year. The substances commonly used included alcohol 65 percent, kolanut 63.1 percent, cigarettes 61 percent, paracetamol 41.5 percent, and cannabis 26 percent. Others included tetracycline 25.7 percent, ampicillin 24.3 percent and valium 24 percent. Those that were least used included heroin, cocaine, latex, petrol and ativan. The study found that substances/drug abuse among our youths is assuming a dangerous dimension and hence a need for immediate eradication.
Furthermore, Nigerian societies have defined some drugs as acceptable while others as not acceptable without reference to their effects on mental and physical wellbeing of the users, for example, society considers the use of alcohol and nicotine as acceptable, and hence those of them who take these drugs do so freely in public without fear of arrest or society stigma.
To the society as a whole, crime, promiscuity, armed robbery and other vices are all linked to drug abuse, and this study was aimed at assessing Knowledge and Use of Drugs among Undergraduate Students of University of uyo, Uyo.
1.1 Statement of the Problem

Drug abuse in Nigeria in the contemporary time has become one issue that throws a desolate shadow to the whole Nigerian culture particularly among University students. The tallness of drug dealing in Nigeria was seen in 1985 under the military system. During this period, it was generally the University students that were gotten and the first to be executed for drug offenses under the ―special court (Miscellaneous Offenses) Degree No. 20 of 1984.
We live in a society where excessive consumption of substances is the order of the day. Study has shown that substances like alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana became commonly abused by youths (Idowu and Abolarin, 1996). Research findings also indicated that these substances negatively affect the health and behaviors of the users. It is also worthy of mentioning that substance abuse cut across ages, socio economic status, race, religion and gender, though recent findings indicate that the use of substance is higher among the males. Study has also shown that under the influence of substance abuse, many youths embark on criminal behaviors and bad activities. No wonder, Annan (2003), noted that ―drugs are tearing apart our societies, spawning crime, spreading disease such as HIV and killing our youth and their future.‖ This is probably the reason why 26th June of every year is declared as United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking while 31st May of every year is declared as‖ No Tobacco Smoking Day worldwide. This probably informed the warning by the Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria that tobacco smokers are liable to die young (Nigerian Tribune, 2007).
Passive smokers that is non-smokers living with smokers are not free, they experience what the real smokers experience. Because the adolescents are more vulnerable to substance abuse, and the fact that adolescents who are not involved in substance abuse are more likely to be involved in one or more act of indiscipline like forgery, truancy and stealing in schools, and no responsible parents, authorities or society should watch these leaders and workforce of the future Nigerians waste away through substance abuse.
Nevertheless, the usage of drug by University undergraduates all its ramifications appears to be a social problem. This problem is widely spread and it affects all and sundry. In other words, the wide spread use and abuse of drugs among student could entice people from all walks of life. This could go beyond the human destruction caused by drug dependence down to the damage of traditional values and lifestyles. Studies have also shown that drug abuse wrecks individual, shatter families and weakens entire society with its burden of economic looses, health cost and increased lawlessness and crime (Hoffman, 1990 and Earl, 2000).
Also, drugs seem to undermine the ability of University undergraduates to learn. Drug also appears to contradict the values of physical wellbeing. People experiment with drugs because they seem to hold the promise of fulfillment. But the fulfillment is generally elusive, greater and greater quantities are consumed and ultimately the person suffers both physical and psychological deterioration. The drug abuser also experience problems of interaction and this interactional problem is encountered both inside his immediate family and stress invariably is created in the family situation of drug abuse (Hoffman, 1990).
To add to this, drug abuse may entail a lot of social problems ranging from lateness to lectures, family neglect, deviant behaviours, involvement in crimes etc (Earl 2000). In terms of economic cost, it includes the more money required to deal with undesirable effects of the drug abuse, the less money for services and programmes that enhances the quality of life (Earl 2000).
To this end and judging from the problems outlined, this research aims at assessing the Knowledge and Use of Drugs among Undergraduate Students of University of Uyo, Uyo.
1.2 Significance of the Study

The results of the study would help in creating awareness in the society on the general effects of drug abuse on their health most especially the University undergraduates. It would also make the youths to realize that excessive or even small intake of this item (drugs) has inhibitory effects on their brain. The result of this the study would be used in making the undergraduate students to have a second thought before partaking in the act.
The study would also help young researchers or writers to solve some problems of drug abuse, thereby ensuring good health of the University undergraduates or youths in general and social harmony in the society. Finally, all the social ills in the society as a result of the effects of psychoactive substance abuse among the University undergraduates in Nigeria will be drastically minimized and subsequently improves the status of students and the university at large.
1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to:

i. Determine the influence of knowledge on the psychoactive substance use by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
ii. Determine the influence of age groups on psychoactive substance use by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
iii. Determine the influence of gender in the use of drugs by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
iv. Determine the influence of monthly allowance on psychoactive substance use by the undergraduate student of University of uyo, Uyo.
0 Research Questions

This study seeks to answer the following research questions

i. Is there any relationship between knowledge about psychoactive substance and the use of the drugs by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo?
ii. Is there any relationship between age of undergraduate students and the use of the drugs by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo?
iii. Is there any relationship between gender and the use of the drugs by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo?
iv. Is there any difference between monthly allowance and the use of the drugs by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo?
0 Hypothesis

1. There is no significant relationship between knowledge about drugs and drugs use among the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
2. There is no significant relationship between drugs use and age of undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
3. There is no significant relationship between drugs use and gender of undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
4. There is no significant difference between drugs use and monthly allowance of undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo.
1.6 Operational Definition of Terms

The following were the operational definition of terms:

1) Drug: Is any psychoactive substance that affects the way an undergraduate think, feels and behaves and has physical and psychological effect on using it.
2) Psychoactive substance: Are drugs that affect the way an undergraduate thinks, feels, behave, respond towards his/her academic career which has physical, psychological, spiritual and economical effect in the student using it.
3) Drug abuse: Is the improper use of psychoactive substance by the undergraduate student either industrial or natural into the body, which affects the five senses. The use or over use by self-administering of any drug in a manner that deviates from medically prescribed pattern.
4) Tobacco smoking: It is the inhalation and exhalation of fumes of a burning plant material, tobacco by the undergraduate students.
5) Hazards: It means the thing that can be dangerous or can cause damage to the body system by the use of psychoactive substance.
6) Knowledge: Knowing the meaning, its classification and types of psychoactive substance abused.
7) Attitude: Refers to the way one think and feels or behaves toward psychoactive substance abuse or misuse by the undergraduate students.
8) Misuse: Excessive or inappropriate use of drugs by the undergraduate students.
9) Drug dependence: Appears when the undergraduate student gives preference to the use of psychoactive substance over other behaviours that were previously considered to be more important.
10) Substance abuse: Any practice in smoking tobacco, marijuana, drinking of alcohol or taking any psychoactive substance by the undergraduate student to the state of intoxication.
11) Undergraduate: Any university student who has yet completed his/her first degree.
12) Prevalence: It is the incidence of psychoactive substance abuse by the undergraduate students of University of uyo, Uyo
13) Pattern: It is the trends, reasons and the effects of either directly or indirectly on the academic career/performance of the undergraduate student due to psychoactive substance abuse.


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