Drug Abuse In Nigeria, Causes, Effects And Solutions

Project and Seminar Material for Economics

Drug Abuse In Nigeria, Causes, Effects And Solutions


This research is carried out to critically review the drug abuse in Nigeria, causes, effects and solutions using secondary school students in Oredo Local Government Area, Edo state as a case study. To make this research a reality questionnaires were administered to collect information, the information was collected from different places. The motive behind the research on the causes of drug abuse among secondary school students stem from the belief that students now engage more on drugs than before. This research also seek to find out factors responsible for the causes of drug abuse in schools. The collected data though questionnaires were analyzed computed in percentages. And the following were seen as the major causes of drug abuse in schools; lack of parental care, failure of school system, social disorganization of parents, unlicensed drug stores, and peer groups influence.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Drug abuse is a social problem of great concern in our society like other social problems; drug abuse has been attracting the attention of sociologist, political scientist, psychologist, philosophers, criminologist and social workers.

Social worker in particular, have been working relentlessly to provide solutions to the problems posed by drug abuse, to this end, several causal explanations, causes affect as recommendations through drug abuse could at least the reduced in the society. But since the aim has not been fully accomplished, the need for more research work on the problems becomes more imperative coupled with the facts that the problem seriously affects the social, economic, political and academic lives of drug users in both rural and urban areas.

Drug abuse has far reaching effects on the progress and aspiration of the youth of all lends. It determines how far the students can benefit from the available opportunities provided by the homes, the government and the community.

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.

The history of drugs usage is as old as man himself and there is hardly any culture earth wide that does not rely on one drug or the other to facilitate interaction, celebrate festivals or to enhance religious rituals. Some of the drugs used then were kola nut, bitter kola, alcohol and tobacco. In the time past, our forefathers mostly use available substance such as kola nut, tobacco, herbs etc. for medicinal purposes but today in our society, the youths use and abuse various type of drugs especially pressure producing substance or that which relaxes anxiety and tension.

The practice has spread through universities, colleges, high school and even elementary schools. The illicit use of drugs is corrupt, dangerous, weakening and eating deep into the fabric of the polity and at the same time claiming hundreds of lives each year and these mostly affected are young people. The problem is unbearably alarming that it has extended beyond the usual characteristic profile or drug abusers being male adults and urban base but now includes females, young stars and those who lives in rural areas. In Nigeria in particular, the menace was not confined to a particular sex or age, it is found among top professionals, high class executives, musicians, truck drivers as well as sport men and women.

In Nigeria, the most common types of abused drugs according to NAFDAC (2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) are categorized as follows:-

1. Stimulants:

These are substances that directly act and stimulate the central nervous system.
Users at the initial stage experience pleasant effects such as energy increase. The major source of these comes from caffeine substance.

2. Hallucinogens:

These are drugs that alter the sensory processing unit in the brain. Thus, producing distorted perception, feeling of anxiety and euphoria, sadness and inner joy, they normally come from marijuana, LSD etc.

3. Narcotics:

These drugs relive pains, induce sleeping and they are addictive. They are found in heroin, codeine, opium etc.

4. Sedatives:

These drugs are among the most widely used and abused. This is largely due to the belief that they relieve stress and anxiety, and some of them induce sleep, ease tension, cause relaxation or help users to forget their problems. They are sourced from valium, alcohol, promotazine, chloroform.

5. Miscellaneous:

This is a group of volatile solvents or inhalants that provide euphoria, emotional dis-inhibition and perpetual distortion of thought to the user. The main sources are glues, spot removers, tube repair, perfumes, chemicals etc.

6. Tranquilizers:

They are believed to produce calmness without bringing drowsiness, they are chiefly derived from Librium, Valium etc. The term “drug abuse” is excessive or persistent usage of drugs without regard for accepted medical practice. Given this definition, it means that all drugs can be abused. Drug abuse is often used to refer to psychoactive or hard drugs which has effect on the central nervous system; the mind, mood, behaviour and eventually the total health and personality to the individual.

The resultant effects of drug abuse are visible in both urban and rural areas. Sick men and women are roaming our streets, we witnessing large number of youths who are acutely intoxicated exhibiting violence and violent behaviours everywhere most especially “Okada” riders.

Haladu (2003) gave the following as the main causes:-

i. Experimental Curiosity:

Curiosity to experiment the unknown facts about drugs thus motivates adolescents into drug use. The first experience in drug abuse produces a state of arousal such as happiness and pleasure which in turn motivate them to continue.

ii. Peer Group Influence:

Peer pressure plays a major role in influencing many adolescents into drug abuse. This is because peer pressure is a fact of teenage and youth life. As they try to depend less on parents, they show more dependency on their friends. In Nigeria, as other parts of the world, one may not enjoy the company of others unless he conforms to their norms.

iii. Lack of Parental Supervision:

Many parents have no time to supervise their sons and daughters. Some parents have little or no interaction with family members, while others put pressure on their children to pass exams or perform better in their studies. These phenomena initialize and increases drug abuse.

iv. Personality Problems due to Socio-economic Conditions:

Adolescents with personality problems arising from social conditions have been found to abuse drugs. The social and economic status of most Nigerians is below average. Poverty is widespread, broken homes and unemployment is on the increase, therefore our youths roam the streets looking for employment or resort to begging. These situations have been aggravated by lack of skills, opportunities for training and re-training and lack of committed action to promote job creation by private and community entrepreneurs. Frustration arising from these problems lead to recourse in drug abuse for temporarily removing the tension and problems arising from it.

v. The Need for Energy to Work for Long Hours:

The increasing economic deterioration that leads to poverty and disempowerment of the people has driven many parents to send their children out in search of a means of earning something for contribution to family income. These children engage in hawking, bus conducting, head loading, scavenging, serving in food canteens etc and are prone to drug taking so as to gain more energy to work for long hours.

vi. Availability of the Drugs:

In many countries, drugs have dropped in prices as supplies have increased.

vii. The Need to Prevent the Occurrence of Withdrawal Symptoms:

If a drug is stopped, the user experiences what is termed “withdrawal symptoms”. Pain, anxiety, excessive sweating and shaking characterize such symptoms. The inability of the drug user to tolerate the symptoms motivates him to continue (Ige, 2000).

1.2 Statement of Problem

The menace of drug abuse among youths has been the centre of attraction for comments, debates and discussion amongst the public, media and other intelligentsia. Drug abuse has been a problem in Nigeria, cases of students appearing before school and community disciplinary committee, as well as psychiatric homes is on the increase.The phenomenon exhibits a great deal if worry in some parents, teachers, e.t.c, who are somehow not able to succeed in their attempt to control their addicted children or wards.

The menace of drug abuse world over and Nigeria in particular has generated a great deal of National controversy, opposition, criticism and debate. The issue of what constitute drug abuse in Nigeria has become a thing of concern amongst the health workers, educational elites and other people alike. It is against this back ground that the researcher intend to investigate the “side effect” of drugs when wrongly used or not used according to Doctor’s prescriptions or other crude means of handling drugs among the youths in our society.

1.3 Objective of the Study

This research work is an attempt to study drug abuse in nigeria, causes, effects and solutions using selected

Secondary Schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.

The research findings may apply to other parts of Nigeria. The purpose of this study is to;

  1. Find out why youths abuse drugs.
  2. Find out the drug mostly abused in the area.
  3. To correct the situations by making useful suggestions by making useful suggestions to prevent or control the abuse of drugs.
  4. To investigate the effect of drug abuse on the academic performance of students.

1.4 Research Questions

The objectives of this study are as follows;

  1. What are the causes of drug abuse in Oredo local government area.
  2. What are the effects of this drug abuse on the secondary school students of my Local Government Area ?
  3. What are the possible solution to these anti social tendencies among students ?

1.5 hypothesis of the Study

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  • H0: there are no relationship between drug abuse and the youth psychological behavior
  • Hi: there are relationship between drug abuse and the youth psychological behavior

1.6 Significance of Study

Research of this nature could help in exposing and reducing the causes of drug abuse and assist in the preventive measures to the ever increasing rates of drug abuse in the community and else where.

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the youth. The study will help to address the causes and also provide the remedies to the drug abuse among youth. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will analyze drug abuse in nigeria, causes, effects and solutions using selected Secondary Schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. The study is limited to some selected Secondary Schools in the area. Hence, the respondents for this study will be obtained from and among secondary school students in the study area.

1.8 Limitation of Study

Since the research has to be done along side with my work, the time obviously poses a problem and limit the extent of data is gathered.

Another problem encountered is that of finance, in terms of transportation to target areas, distribution and printing of questionnaires and collection of data from the various schools.

Getting the cooperation of respondents was an up hill task as most of them could not freely because of been exposed.

1.9 Definition of Terms


Danger is the general word for liability to all kinds of injury or evil consequences, either near at hand and certain, or remote and doubtful: to be in danger of being killed. Hazard suggests a danger that. Peril usually denotes great and imminent danger: The passengers on the disabled ship were in great peril

Drug Abuse:

Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder.


Youth is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young”

1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on drug abuse in nigeria, causes, effects and solutions, Edo State as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.

5.2 Summary of Findings

This study of drug abuse has been one in which various hypothesis based on certain basic assumptions, of the reason topic has been put to empirical test. The hypothesis formulated for this study include

  1. Children who lack parental care and affection take to drug abuse then, those who do not lack parental care and affection.
  2. Children who live in low class residential areas are more prone to drug abuse than those from high or middle class residential areas.
  3. Children who engage in drug abuse grow up to become adult criminals.
  4. Peer group influence induces drug abuse.

In summary, it was found that children deprived of adequate parental care and affection take to drug abuse than those who do not lack parental care and affection. This is attributed to the simple fact that children who are adequately provided for have no cause to drug abuse as their needs are always provided for by their caring parents.
Secondly, it was discovered that children who live in low class residential areas are more prone to dry abuse than those in high class residential areas. This is supported that a greater percentage of criminal subculture exist in low class residential areas.

Thirdly, it was found that there is necessary link between peer groups and drug abuse. This is evident from the response of the respondents many of who agreed that they have been caught alongside their peers engaging in the abuse of drugs.

5.3 Conclusion

In conclusion, the study shows that the family has a large part to play in matters pertaining to drug abuse. It is clearly operational that unfortunate circumstance as well as unhappy family influences such as socio-economic status of parents and childhood deprivation lead to personal, psychological and social problems of adjustment for youths, which in turn, are in most cases resolved by the perpetuation of drug acts. The children themselves have a part to play in alleviating this problem. Emphasis should be placed by parents, teachers, and guardians on the nature of friends which their wards associate with as these associations bring about bad attitudes.

Finally, drug abuse should be seen as a temporary problem not as a permanent one because it could be treated and controlled if those who are designated to do so can apply the necessary techniques discussed in this work.

5.4 Recommendation

It is the wish of the researcher to point out some possible ways of handling drug abuse. On the basis of this study, the researcher recommends a government policy aimed at educating the entire populace on the need to cater for their children in order to make them good leaders of tomorrow. Government should also provide avenues through which the youths can be engaged in activities which will inculcate in them relevant qualities that will enable them to contribute their quota to national development.

Furthermore, the parents have a lot to do themselves, it is clear that parents do not adequately realize the importance of their position in the society as agents of socialization. Vigorous mobilization programmes should be mounted for all parents or guardians so as to make them aware of their important role in the socialization process. This will definitely go a long way in upbringing of youths in our society.

Finally, government and individuals as a matter of priority should formulate policies aimed at establishing and maintaining the standard of religious and moral institutions in all aspects of our society as such institution will ensure that the basic morals needed to keep our youths out of crime are imbibed by them hence, creating a sense of responsibility for themselves and to the society in general.

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