Drug Abuse Among Secondary School Students – Implications For Counselling

Drug Abuse Among Secondary School Students – Implications For Counselling

Drug Abuse Among Secondary School Students – Implications For Counselling

The issue drug abuse is a well known phenomenon being condemned by all and sundry including the federal, state and local government through the mass media. It is a common thing among adolescents and even adult to abuse drugs of various types.

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Nwoli (1975) defined drug as “a substance that by its chemical nature affect the structure or function of the organism”. The mode of action and the nature of the effect of drugs is the subject matter of pharmacology. It includes medicine, over the counter drugs, illegal drugs, drugs that are commonly referred to as beverages or cigarettes, food additives, pollutant and food itself.

Onuaguluchi (1983:p.34), quoting marsh defined drugs as:

(i) Articles recognized in the official US pharmcopeia, official Homeophathic pharmcopeia of the US or official national formulary or any supplement to any of them

(ii) Article intended for used in the diagnosis cure mitigation, treatment and prevention of distance in man or other animals

(iii) Articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure of any function of the body of man or other animals

(iv) Articles intended for use as a component of any article specified in clause, 1,2,3 but does not include device of their component part of accessories

Two important connotation of the definitions are; that, substances used for diagnosis or prevention of diseases are drugs; and that articles which are not normally intended for the treatment, cure, diagnosis or prevention of diseases in man and other animals, but are intended purely for modification of the function are regarded as drugs. Thus alcohol taken as beverages or marijuana taken purely for it effect on the psyche are drugs.

One of the principles of proper usage is that drugs should be medically prescribed and in addition the user should comply with the instruction of the prescription. However, it is known that some drug users do not always comply with the instruction and tend to use them without prescription. Both behaviours constitute either drug misuse or drug abuse respectively. Drug abuse is a situation when certain drugs are taken in short or over of the prescription dosage. Misuse of drugs can also be seen as a situation an individual applies a drug meant for a particular ailment for another type of a major social problem, particularly in the developing countries. Certain phase of the problem involves in some way almost every sector of the society. Because of the importance drugs are being recommended and haphazardly by students, parent, legislators and judges, just to mention but a few with or without medical instruction or prescription.

Drug abuse according to Tuner (1971) is defined ‘as taking of drugs without medical advice or direction”. Ndu (1982), defined it as “the use, especially by self-administration of any drug in a manner that deviate from the approved medical or social pattern within a given culture”.

From the above definition, it is obvious that any of the following conditions constitutes drug abuse, sell administration of drugs without prescription, excessive use of drugs and indiscrimination use of alcohol and tobacco. Ruch (9963) defined alcohol addiction as an uncontrollable need to drink that the person’s economic, social and family life disintegrates”. Such person depends on alcohol to get him through the day and feel he cannot face life without it.

Kalunta (1976), defined drugs as to obtain and take drug in over-increasing dose, and to develop physical and psychological symptoms if the source of supply is cut off.

The commonly abused drugs according to (Inhinmwin 1987), include alcohol, nicotine, hypnotics like barbiturates and stimulant, caffein like coffees tea, kolanuts and cocaine, hallucinatory like marijuana and narcotics like opium and other drugs.

Ndu (1982) in his study classified most of the pharmacological agent commonly abused into six. They includes, opium and related analgestic compounds, general central nervous system depressants, central nervous system stimulant and psychedetic. Drug abuse has become a cankerworm which has eaten deep into the fabric of the society, so much that there is hardly any government or regime that does not embark on one form of public campaign or the other in the effort to check it. The campaign mounted by the government and its agencies seem to have been ignored by the drug users and traffickers. Hence some government in Nigeria introduced draconian law in order to check drug abuse as well as drug trafficking among citizen, for instance, Buhari/Idiagbon (1983) introduced death penalty for drug trafficking in Nigeria.

Margan (1987), reported during the lunching of campaign against drug abuse at Lagos that the problem of drug abuse has reached a stage that it was necessary to arouse the awareness of the general populace to the menace. She stressed that if Nigerians did not rise up against drug abuse therefore it cancerous effect spreads, it might be their children, parent, relation or friend that would be the next victim. The then master of social development, youth and sport, Lawal (1987), report that his ministry was involved with the campaign because quite a number of abusers of drugs were young and women. These categories of citizens, he said, were the responsibility of his ministry. He identified reasons for taking drugs as boredom relief from rain and stresses, feeling of rejection, need for love, ignorance and curiosity. He therefore, stressed that the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking would amount do nothing without the collective effort of individual, families, parents, teachers, school, religious bodies and voluntary organization.

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Garba (1986) expressed concern over how students’ sexually transmitted disease (STD) resorted to treating themselves indiscriminately with antibiotic. According to him, student who avoided doctor or bought antibiotic from chemist without prescription endanger their health because of the risk of buying expired drugs and abuse of such drugs. He therefore called on the federal government to enact a law barning the indiscriminate sale of some drugs including antibiotics except on prescription from a medical doctor.

Reacting to drug abuse and its attendant consequences, Alusa (1986), reported that some students engaged in drug competition and might become psychitic after excessive consumption of a particular drug or alcohol, such student lost self controls, committe crimes including sexual abuse on female students and damaged public property. He warned that student who indulged in psychoactive drugs and alcohol, usually ended up with intellectual deficit as a result of brain damage leading to poor academic performance, early drop out and later delinquency. The then assistance inspector General of police, Aliyu (1987), listed a case of a boy in Lagos who suddenly pulled out a gun in the midst of a crowd and opened fire on the innocent people without any cause. On the arrest the police discovered the boy acted under the influence of drug. This is in line with the report of Lagos medical practitioner, Oyemiran (1989 p. 28), who reported that during influence criminal tendencies in youths.

“When a youth takes any of the activity drugs without the recommendation of a trained doctor, it becomes effective in him such that he begins to create an illusion about things. The more he uses the drug, the more his body gets activated”.

He further highlighted that in addition to these, drugs would create mental problems for the youth. This is because the drug taken goes to the brain through the blood stream. And since the brain control the entire body and through the blood stream the drug is transmitted to other part of the body, the drugs causes the youth to be immunes from pain and then has a lot of got to go anything no matter how irrational it is. The concerned antigens are thus worried about the degree at which this phenomenon is growing among our youths in the secondary schools.

The Emir of Fika Local Government Area of Borno state, Ablik(1986), said in Postiskum, that students and unemployed youths were responsible for most of the crimes committed at that time in Postiskum. According to him, the crime statistics compiled by the police revealed that minor crime like sexual abuse, truancy, picking pocketing, insults of teachers and assault of female were committed by students under the influence of drugs.

Asuni (1964), reported that eight of twenty-six cases administed to Amo- hospital (Abeokuta) due to effect of India Hem smoking were attributed to students. Olafunde and Oviasn (1974), reported that 62 out of 352 secondary school students investigated at Ibadan used central nervous system stimulant and 55 of these misused or abused drugs.

Similarly, Udo (1982), found in a study concerning drug taking beliefs, opinion and behaviour that amoung secondary school students in Ibadan that 89 out of 428 he investigated had experienced smoking cigarette, while 1990 of the same sample had taken wine or beer.

From the above instances of drug abuse and its attendant consequences, one is not left in doubt as to the magnitude of it concern to the nation. The issue is viewed seriously because the chief culprit and victims are the youth who are the main architects of the nation’s future. It is imperative therefore, that the war against crime in society should begin with fighting the use of hard drug by our youth as people were likely to be law abiding avoid crime if they were prevented from abusing hard drugs. Thus, the idea to investigate the prevalence of this social phenomenon among the secondary school students in Otuocha education zone of Anambra state was conceived by the researcher.

Statement Of Problem

It is generally known that human societies are faced with numerous problems and challenges. In like manners, institutions found with such societies are also engulfed by such societal problems and therefore the students in Otuocha Education zone who also constitute a fraction of the leaders of tomorrow are no exception to the problem of drug abuse.

Teachers in the secondary schools have observed with dismay and regret the non-challant attitude of some students towards their studies. Some of them do not come to school regularly and some others when they come do not stay in the class for their lessons, as most of them prefer to stay in their hide-outs where they carry out their nefarious activities such as smoking and taking of alcohol. It is no news these days to hear of students bullying other students and even some of them fighting their teachers as well as the school authorities. Most schools are experiencing one form of disturbance/demonstration or the other. Recently, due to drug abuse/misuse, it was reported that some students in a Federal Government College in Rivers State beat their fellow student to death. Such sporadic violent behaviour exhibited by students are mostly carried out on the influence of drugs. The health implication of self medication among our secondary school student has become a source of concern for so many well meaning Nigerians. Most students have turned themselves into “medical practitioners” because of an ailment they once had. They are constantly diagnosing and prescribing for themselves and others without any knowledge of the composition, purpose or side effects of the drug. This is a dangerous precedent to which other people in the society have become accustomed to, to the neglect of its grave consequences.

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In view of the fact that drug abuse is gradually gaining ground among Nigeria youth and also for the fact that it has done irreparable harm to most families as well as rendering most people useless, it becomes imperative that something ought to be done to correct the situation.

Purpose Of The Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the indicates of drug among secondary schools student in Otuocha education and its implication for counselling. Therefore, it tends to:

1. To investigate why students abuse drugs.

2. To identify the drug commonly abused by students.

3. To determine which gender abuse drugs more than the other.

4. To ascertain how through counseling the rate of drug abuse can be reduced in our secondary school.

Significance Of The Study

This project is important for the following reasons.

Firstly, it will help the parents to understand the drugs commonly abused by students in secondary schools and why they abuse them. This will help the parents adopt a better strategy in joining the fight against drug abuse among secondary school children.

Secondly, the mass media will have more knowledge on the nature and impact of drug abuse among secondary school students. This will help them adopt a more sophisticated approach in using the mass media to discourage secondary school students from indiscriminate taking of drugs.

Thirdly, education administration in Otuocha education zone will understand to a large extent how drug abuse has contributed to recent indiscipline and decline in student, performance and perhaps adapt a better method to check this ugly trend.

Lastly, the larger society has been handicapped about the rising incidence of drug abuse. This study will identify those drugs that are commonly abused and how it has contributed to the falling standard in education, besides the rising cases of youth indiscipline in the larger society. It will highlight how counseling can help reduce this problem to its barest minimum.

Research Questions

The researcher formulated four research questions to give guide to the work. They includes;

1. What reasons can you proffer for using drugs?

2. What are the drugs commonly abused by students?

3. Which gender abuse these drugs more than the other?

4. To what extent can counseling be used to reduce drug abuse among students in secondary schools?

Scope Of The Study

This study course the four local government that make up Otuocha Education Zone [Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Oyi Local Government Area.] There are 50 secondary schools in all from which the study is carried out.


Literature related to the study was reviewed under the following headings

(1) Why student abuse days

(2) Drug commonly abused by students

(3) Student under that above drugs

(4) Use of counseling to reduce dry abuse

Why Students Abuse Drugs

Colemen, Butcher and Carson (1980) reported that student abuse drugs in order to react to failure with marked feelings of hurt and inferiority, to have low frustration tolerance, and to feel inadequate and unsure of their ability to play expected male or female roles maccleland, David, Kalin and Wanner (1972) see why students abuse drugs as an attempt to prove their masculinity and achieve feelings of adequacy and competency.

Awka of July 8, 2001 agree that the influence of peer was prime reason they start using drugs equally Newsweek reported on 7th July 1996, “the street of Seattle are chuttered with lids who have moved there to do heroin, just because (rock musician) lobain did”

Also Awka July 8, 2001 report on why student abuse drugs. Among these are disillusionment, depression and a lack of purpose in life. It noted that some who have equally difficulty with human relationship use drugs to help them cope in social situations. They believe that drugs boat their confidence, making them feel with and likable.

Boredom is another reason youths fun to drugs. The book, “The promence of Disky – why teenages do the things they do” comment on boredom and the lack of parental supervision “Boy and girls come home after school to empty houses. No surprise, they are homely and don’t want to be alone”. Eiserman (1978).

According to Awka (April 22, 1994) reported, “indeed, the reason many people become addicted is their bad association with those who are abusing alcohol and drug”. It also reported that peer pressure and curiosity often play a significant role, especially for youth. This may explain a us survey that revealed that 41 percent of high school seniors go on an alcohol bring every two week (Awka April 22, 1994)

Some export even suggested a genetic link making some move vulnerable to addition than others. “what we see is an interaction of personality, environment, biology and social acceptability”, says jack Hengingfield of the national institute on drug Abuse. Kelunta (1977).

Equally, so many experts in the in medical field have proved that student take drugs for therapeutic uses. Perhaps, the most recognized reason behind the use of hard drugs by people is that of achieving pleasurable excitement. People use drugs such as LISO, Mascaline, amphetamines and alcohol to go in “trips” or achieve a highly falsified elated state of being. These drugs among other similar influence, are majority used to achiee estasy. Samuel, Faguyi and Njoku (1979).

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In trying to identify why students abuse drugs, some researchers including Winokur, Raich, Rimmes and pitts (1970), and Hodwin, Harmansan, Schulsinger, Auze winokur (1973), have stressed the role of genetic and biochemical factors, others including Bandurs (1976), Schaeter (1971), and freeney (1976), have viewed it as a maladaptive pattern of adjustment to the stree of life, still other including westermyer (1971) and elsermen (1978) have emphasize socio-cultural factors, such as the availability of alcohol and social approval of excessive drug abuse i.e. drinking and smoking. As with most other forms of maladaptive behaviour, it would appear that there may be several types of drug dependence in which there are some what difference patterns of biological, psychological and socio-cultural level factors.

Psychologically, it can be understood that “there an alcoholic personality is a type of character organisation that predisposes a given individual to the use of alcohol rather of coping with stress. Coleman, Butcher and Carson (1980). In attempt to explain this further Coleman, Butcher and Carso (1980) reported that alcoholics in terms of pre-alcoholic personality, tend to be emotionally immature to expert a great deal of the world, to require an inordinate amount of praise and appreciation, to react to failure with marked feelings of hurt and inferiority, to have low frustration tolerance, and to feel inadequate and unsure of their ability to play expected male or female roles. With respect to the lart characteristic maccleland, David Kalin and Wanner (1972) have viewed heavy drinking by some young man as an attempt to prove their masculinity and achieve feelings of adequate and competency. Similarly, wilsnck (1973), concluded that the potential female alcoholic places strong value on the traditional female role, while at the same time her sense of adequately as a female is highly fragile.

A number of investigations have pointed out that the typical alcoholic is discontented with his or her life situation and is unable or unwilling to tolerate tension and stress. Beckman (1978). In fact Schaefer (1971) has concluded that alcoholism is a conditioned response to anxiety. The individual presumably find in alcohol a means of relieving anxiety, resentment, depression, or unpleasant feelings. Each drink relieves tension at the moment, this the behaviour is reinforced.

Grahua and cross (1975), have found important personality differences between chronic users and non users of marijuana. Users showed more spontoneiety and novelty seeking, while non user appeared well specialized confirmed, and respectful of authority, they strone for traditional value and rarely acted on impulse. Key, lyons, newman mankind and boeb (1978), tested a large group of college students on several occasions with Califonia psychological inventory (CPI), the adjective check list (ACI), and a drug questionnaire. They found personality different between user and non-users and concluded that individuals with certain personality characteristics such as flexibility are more likely to use marijuana than confirming constructive individual. In comparison between a group of 45 young institutionalized male addicts and as a control of non- addicts, Ailbert and Lombardi (1967) found that distinguishing features were “the addicts psychopathic traits, his depression, tension, and his difficulty in forming warm and lasting interpersonal relationship”.

Similarly, in a study of 112 drug abusers admitted to Bellevue psychiatric hospital in New York, Hekimian and Gershon (19680), found that users usually showed psychopathic personality characteristic personality pattern as being characteristics of female addict studied over a period of seven years in New York city. He concluded that a female addicts has three keys goals

(a) A conscious wish to lose control of her drug usage so that she can blame her failure on the drug.

(b) A desire to obliterate all sense of time blot what is happening in her frustrating life, situation and

(c) A need to deny cause-and effect relationship in her sexual activity and pregnancy.

Barbin, Ross, English and Haley (1974), assessed the personality make up of 1500 hospitalized opiate addicts, 150 male and 750 female. They found that in the majority of addict- 60% showed a variety emotional disturbance and related characteristic that did not fit consistent personalize of the subject were remaining 40% of the subject were characterized by high level of subjective distress, non-conformity, and confused thinking.

Biologically, Winoker, (1970), found that slight over 40 percent had alcoholic parents usually the father. This findings proved that children of alcoholic, parents who had been adopted by non-alcoholic foster parents still had nearly twice the number of alcoholic did a control of adopted children whose real parent did not have history of alcoholism.

In another study, Godwin, schussing, miller, Hermansen and winoker (1974), compared the sons of alcoholic parents who were adopted in infancy by non-alcoholic parents. Both adopted and non-adopted sons later showed evidence of high rate of alcoholism – 25 percent and 19 percent respectively. Roe, Burks and mittlemen (1945), followed the case histories of 36 children who had been taken from securely alcoholic parents and placed in fostered homes. They found that the likely-hood of their becoming alcoholic turned out to be no greater than that of a control group of 25 children of non-alcoholic parents.

Drug Abuse Among Secondary School Students – Implications For Counselling

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  1. Very educative and precise. Well done

  2. Eno Asuquo says:

    i love the information given in the passage.since boredom is one reason why youth are involve in drug,parent should pay more attention to their children’s idle time. thanks

  3. I really love love this project that l slas through

  4. Eno Asuquo says:

    The reseach work is very educative.nice one

  5. jaafar salisu ilalla says:

    very educative artcle

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