The Effect Of An Antihypertensive Drug – Nifedipine On Some Biochemical Parameters In Rats

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

The Effect Of An Antihypertensive Drug – Nifedipine On Some Biochemical Parameters In Rats


Abstract


The purpose of this research is to investigate, evaluate and determine the problems leading to drug abuse by adolescents, specifically taking Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State as a case study. The sample of this study consisted of one hundred and fifty (150) randomly sampled students drawn from five (5) selected Secondary Schools. The instrument developed and used in this research consisted of structured questionnaire containing twenty questions. The study design used was survey and exploratory. The researcher visited these selected secondary schools and administered questionnaire on the students. The data collected, presented and analyzed in this study are as follows: – c. Cigarette smoking is the cause of lung cancer in humans; d. Associated with drug abuse is the causes of high incidence of armed robbery and other forms of violent crimes for over three decades now in Nigeria. g. Government should study areas and persons that become compulsive for drug users and addicts for common traits, so as to find the conditions, both social and psychological, that possibly make them abuse these drugs and see how to arrive at workable methods of prevention or treatment, rehabilitation and control. It is hoped that this study will be of immense benefit especially to adolescents who are already in the habit of using dangerous drugs and to those who at one point or the other feel that they should start abusing drugs.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Young people develop contain habits for the sake of acceptance in a group. They resort to dangerous habits such as smoking, alcoholism and drug taking for so many reasons such as; helping them to cope with the problems, fear and pressure of everyday life (Brook et al 2001). Some use drugs as s means of escape from realities in life, to reduce anxieties, out of curiosity, while some turn to it in a bid to challenge authority.

Teenagers may be involved with legal or illegal drugs in various ways. Experimentation with drugs during adolescence is common. Unfortunately, teenagers often do not see the link between their actions today and the consequences tomorrow. They also have a tendency to feel indestructible and immune to the problems that others experience. Using alcohol and tobacco at a young age increases the risk of using other drugs later. Some teens will experiment and stop or continue to use occasionally, without significant problems. Others will develop a dependency or addiction, often moving on to more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves and possibly others (Ibanga 2000).

As Jones, 2006 observes, excessive use of drugs and alcohol work to the determent of important social institutions, such as schools and threaten the smooth functioning of our social system. It is a well established fact that smoking is injurious to health and extensive studies have shown that smokers have an increase risk of disability, illnesses and death from a number of diseases on conditions.

Drug abuse has increased drastically in recent years and the problem is becoming more serious, especially among young teens that are predominantly found in the secondary schools (Anthony et al 1995). The average age of first marijuana use is 14, and alcohol use can start before age 12. The use of alcohol and marijuana in secondary schools has become common. Drug use is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including increased risk of serious drug use later in life, school failure and poor judgement, which may put teens at risk of accidents, violence, unplanned and unsafe sex, and suicide.

In the words of Kipke, (1999), teenagers at risk for developing serious alcohol and drug problems include those: with a family history of substance abuse, who are depressed, who feel like they do not fit in or are out of the mainstream. Teenagers abuse a variety of drugs– legal and illegal, such drugs include; tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana stimulants, cocaine, depressants, heroin, steroids, MDMA (ecstasy), GHB,rohypnol (rophies), ketamine, met-amphetamine, LSD, club drugs, etc. These drugs are either ingested, smoked, injected or snorted.

Adolescents who abuse drugs present these kinds of behaviours; Physical- fatigue, repeated health complaints, frequent flu-like episodes, chest pains, “allergy ” symptoms, chronic cough, red and glazed eyes, impaired ability to fight off common infections and fatigue, impaired short term memory, change in health or grooming; Emotional personality change, sudden mood changes, irritability, anger, hostility, irresponsible behaviour, low self-esteem, poor judgement, feelings of loneliness, depression, apathy or general lack of interest, change in personal priorities; Family Relationships-decreased interest in the family and family activities, starting arguments, negative attitude, verbal (or physical) mistreatment of younger siblings, breaking rules, withdrawing from family, secretiveness, failure to provide specific answer to questions about activities, personal time that is unaccounted for, lying and dishonesty, unexplained disappearance of possessions in the home, increased money or poor justification of how money was spent; School activities –decreased interest, negative attitude, unexplained drop in grades, irregular school attendance, truancy, discipline problems, not returning home after school; Peer Relationships- dropping old friends and picking new group of friends (new friends who make poor decisions and are not interested in school or family activities ), changes to a different style in dressing and music, attending parties with no parental supervision (Jones 2006).

Teenagers might tell themselves they will only try a drug once, but many teens find themselves under continual peer pressure to continue to experiment with drugs and “join the party”. Most teens do not start using drugs expecting to develop a substance abuse problem, and while most teens probably see their drug use as a casual way to have fun, there are negative effects that are as a result of these use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. The biggest consequence to casual drug use can be that it develops unto a true addiction. Most teens do not think that they will become addicted, and simply use drugs or alcohol to have a good time and be more like friends. (Gullets et al 1994).

If the mentioned signs and problems are noticed in adolescents, help should be sought with immediate effect by talking to the teen about it and seeking to establish if they are actually into drug use, how they started and why, and encourage them to get help. Treatment programme should be found for them by consulting a physician to rule out physical causes of drug use, followed or accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional (Johnson et al 2001).

As the days come by, incidents of youths dropping out of secondary schools for no just cause, becoming mentally deranged and behaving abnormally abound all over the streets in our society. This has given so much concern and a need for an urgent step to be taken to see how this ugly incidence could be addressed since the adverse effects of these drugs usage such as stealing, burglary, armed robbery and other violent and heinous crimes are felt here and there. This as a societal ill raises too many questions than answers, thus raising curiosity as a necessity to carrying out this research.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The indiscriminate or excessive use of drug of various kinds for various purposes by our youth is a vital problem facing our entire society today. It has impacted on all spheres of human endeavour, the schools, the medical world, the private sector and actually the entire nooks and crannies of our society, affecting our day-to-day activities in one way or the other. The relationship between drug abuse and the society is a complex one, each influencing the other, but there are certainly realities that are apparent cost to our society.

Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate, evaluate and determine the problems leading to drug abuse by adolescents, specifically taking Uyo local government area as a case study.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to:

  1. Find out why young people take dangerous drugs.
  2. Identify the factors contributing to the use of these drugs.
  3. Assess the effects of drug abuse in the body.
  4. Identity social and psychological problems relating to drug abuse.
  5. See how possible solutions and remedies could be provided to these nagging problems.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

Our society is experiencing dramatic changes in drug abuse patterns. Historically, adolescents have misused drugs just for ”kick” rebellion, escape and for relief of pains (emotional and psychological). Most of these adolescents develop these habits through sheer imitation from parents, friends, teachers and other elders in the society whom they come in contact or associate with in one way or the other.

The most concerned is their ignorance about the actions and the harmful effects of these dangerous drugs on the normal body function by using them indiscriminately without any advice from a physician.

Under this study, information on the factors contributing to the abuse of drugs, effects, social and psychological problems related to the abuse of drugs and drug addiction are provided.

It is hoped that this study will be of immense benefit especially to adolescents who are already in the habit of using dangerous drugs and to those who at one point or the other feel that they should start abusing drugs.

The study shall also be very useful to students and other academic in and outside Akwa Ibom state who are intending to carry out research on a similar or related topic.


1.5 Research Questions

The research questions are as follows:

  1. Can excessive drug advertisement in the mass media e.g. television, radio, lead to drug abuse?
  2. Can excessive drug usage especially marijuana coke, etc lead to the non-conformity attitude of our youth?
  3. Are there greater percentage of young people admitted into many psychiatric hospitals these days as a result of drug abuse?
  4. Does drug abuse lead to assassinations, shameful and naked body displays by adolescents?
  5. Can drug abuse lead to poverty, broken homes and divorce.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study covers some selected secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area in order to examine and ascertain whether actually there is drug abuse among adolescents who predominantly are in different schools across the Local Government Area and to look at ways in which preventive measures could be taken. The study was limited to the investigation of dangerous drugs, factors which contribute to their usage, effects of the usage of these drugs and measures to take in order to prevent the usage of these drugs.


1.7 Limitations

In the course of this study, there were a lot of constraints encountered, these ranges from financial to lack of co-operation. Financial in the sense that money was needed in all aspects like for the preparation of the questionnaire, distribution and collation of the questionnaire.

In the aspect of lack of co-operation, some students after collecting the questionnaire refused to fill them, while others refused to hand them in for documentation as was necessary.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Adolescence

The process of growing up both physically and psychologically which starts with puberty and ends up with adulthood. It is the period when the maturing of the sexual organs (puberty) begins and continues to adulthood.

Addiction

A state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of some substances or drugs.

Caffeine

An alkaloid found in coffee, tea and kola nuts that acts as a stimulant and a diuretic.

Cirrhosis

Chronic liver disease marked by scarring of liver tissue and eventually liver failure.

Club Drugs

This term refers to drugs being used by teens and young adults at all-night dance parties such as “raves” or “trances”, dance clubs and bars.

Codeine

Sedative and pain relieving agent found in opium. Structurally related to morphine but less potent, and constituting approximately 0.5% of the opium extract.

Crack

A term used for a smokeable form of cocaine. It is a powerful addictive stimulant.

Depressant

Any of the several drugs that sedate by acting on the Central Nervous System (CNS): medical uses include the treatment of anxiety, tension and high blood pressure.

Diuretic

A drug which causes an increased excretion of urine, such as caffeine and chlorothiazide.

Downer

A street name for Valium.

Drug Abuse

This refers to the illicit (non medical) use of any drug (legal or illegal) for a medical or recreational purpose when other alternatives are available, practical or warranted, or when drug use endangers either the user or others with whom he or she must interact.

Drug Dependence

A condition in which the body has adjusted to the present of a drug and when forced to function without the drug, the body reacts with a characteristic illness called withdrawal syndrome.

GABA (Gamma Amino butyric Acid)

An amino acid found in the Central Nervous Systems (CNS), which acts as inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Habituation

A condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug that involves little or no evidence of tolerance.

Heroine

A highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from opium. It is a “downer” or depressant that affects the brains pleasure systems and interferes with the brains ability to perceive pain.

Hallucinogen

Chemical substance that can distort perceptions to induce delusions or hallucinations.

Hallucination

Perception of objects or experience of sensations with no real external cause. Can be auditory, visual, etc.

Illicit Drugs

Drugs whose use, possession or sale is illegal

Inhalant

Volatile substance that is introduced into the body through the lungs.

Insomnia

The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor quality sleep because of one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep, waking up too early in the morning, or un-refreshing sleep or due to drug usage.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethyl amide)

A synthetic (man-made) drug that has been abused for its hallucinogenic properties. If consumed in a sufficiently large dose, it produces delusions and visual hallucinations that distort the users sense of time and identity. LSD is generally taken by mouth. The drug is colourless and odourless but has a slightly bitter taste.

MDA (3, 4 – Methylenedioxyamphetamine)

A kind of drug that gives the user a sense of empathy for those around them. A closeness, if you will, that can easily transform to sexual thoughts and an enjoyment of heightened body awareness. It is also known as “love drug”.

Morphine

Major sedative and pain-relieving drug found in opium, being approximately 10% of the crude opium exudates.

Marcolepsy

A sleep disorder due to drug use characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep.

Narcotic

A drug having the power to produce a state of sleep or drowsiness and to relieve pain with the potential of being dependence producing, extensive use can lead to addiction.

Nicotine

The main active ingredient in tobacco, extremely toxic and causing irritation of lung tissues, construction of blood vessels, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and in general, Central Nervous System (CNS) simulation.

Opiate

Any substance, natural or synthetic, that is related in action to morphine and binds to the same, or some of the same, receptors.

Opium

Juice obtained from poppy seeds, containing about 18 alkaloids including morphine (about 10%), codeine and papaverine. It relieves pain and may be used during labour.

PEP – Amphetamine

A CNS stimulant that increase energy and decreases appetite, used to treat narcolepsy and some form of depression.

Psychoactive Substance

Any substance (drug) that people take to change either the way they feel, think or behave. These include alcohol and tobacco as well as natural and manufactured drugs.

Psychological Dependence

A compulsion to use a drug for its pleasurable effects. Such dependence may lead to a compulsion to misuse a drug. A compulsion to use a drug that is psychologically rather than physiologically based e.g. compulsive gambling is a purely psychological dependence; a similar effect may come from drug use.

Rehabilitate

To restore to effectiveness or normal life by training, etc, especially after imprisonment or illness, to restore to former priviledges or reputation or a proper condition.

Relapse

Referring to alcoholism, a recurrence of symptoms of the disease after a period of sobriety.

Side Effects

Secondary effects, usually undesirable, of a drug or therapy after usage.

Stimulant

Any of the several drugs that act on the CNS to produce excitation, alertness or wakefulness.

Syndrome

All the signs and symptoms associated with a disease.

Tolerance

Condition in which a person must keep increasing the dosage of a drug to maintain the same effect. Tolerance develops with the barbiturates, amphetamines and related compounds, and opiates.

Tranquilizer

A substance that depresses the CNS resulting in calmness, relaxation, sleepiness, slowed breathing, reduction of anxiety and possibly – at higher doses slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgement and slow actions e.g. Thorazine, Valium.

Valium

A tranquilizer used to relieve anxiety and relax muscles. It acts by inhibitory actions of the neurotransmitter GABA. It can also be used as an anticonvulsant drug in cases of nerve agent poisoning.

Withdrawal Syndrome

The group of reactions or behaviour that follows abrupt cessation of the use of a drug upon which the body has become dependent. May include anxiety, insomnia, perspiration, hot flashes, tremors, dehydration, weakness, dizziness, convulsion and psychotic behaviour. If untreated in some individuals can be a cause of death.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Drugs have been used throughout history for a variety of reasons, such as treatment, prevention and diagnosis of illnesses. The benefits derived from drugs prescribed by a physician and taken in accordance to the prescriptions far outweigh the possible risks involved in their abuse. Drug is considered dangerous and unacceptable to the society when it is used for a purpose which is not medically legitimate and create problems affecting the society by making their abusers behave abnormally, doing what they would not do if they were in their normal and natural state. This affects the social and economic well being of the society.

The purpose of this study, which was to verify drug use among adolescents in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has been realized and the following facts have been established: –

  1. That drug abuse may result from many cases including the influence of peer group and the need for self-esteem enhancement. Most youths turn to drugs in seeking for escape from pain, fatigue, anxiety, poverty, failure and frustrations.
  2. That there are well defined risks related to the abuse of drugs. Some drugs notably cocaine and amphetamines stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS), others such as narcotics depress the action of the brain
  3. Cigarette smoking is the cause of lung cancer in humans
  4. Associated with drug abuse is the cause of high incidence of armed robbery and other forms of violent crimes for over three decades now in Nigeria.
  5. Many parents as a result of spending most of their income on alcohol cannot adequately provide for their children in areas of clothing, food, housing, medical care and education
  6. That excessive drug usage is the cause of many road accidents and the reason why there are so many mentally retarded youths in our society today.
  7. Poverty broken homes and divorce are all the result of drug abuse.

Most of our young ones sincerely ignore these potential dangers and contentedly consume a substantial amount of drugs as often as they wish.


5.2 Conclusion

It is realized that there are many factors that contribute to drug abuse. It is pertinent to point out here to all the youths and adolescents that these factors are controllable and should be avoided and discontinued if had already started for it is easy to start a drug habit but very difficult to stop it. Parents should try as much as possible to understand their wards, drawing closer to them by the day and try by all means to advice, caution and solve their problems as they encounter them.

All drugs are dangerous when taken overdose or illicitly, youths and indeed people should not use drugs without medical prescription by a physician.


5.3 Recommendations

In order to achieve the objectives of this important research “Drug Abuse among Adolescents” the following recommendations are made by the researcher based on the data collected, presented and analyzed.

Every effort should be intensified at the National, State and Local Government levels to control the usage of drugs among the youths. To achieve this, the following measures are suggested.

  1. Public enlightenment campaigns should be organized frequently at all levels of the government to educate people, especially youths on the bad effects of drugs. During these public enlightenments, the radio, television, newspapers, churches, mosques, market places, etc should be effectively utilized.
  2. Illegal manufacturing, distribution, possession or sale of drugs should be controlled strictly from the Federal Government down to the Local Government and strict penalties for violators should be imposed and applied.
  3. All experimental drug studies must be registered manufacturers and should submit data on any new drug application, reporting both safety and effectiveness
  4. Locations cultivating drugs such as Indian hemp should be discovered and the plants destroyed at source (i.e. at the plantations) with the farm owner prosecuted accordingly instead of the government closing their eyes on such plantations but wanting to nip the sellers after such drugs had been harvested, processed and sent out for consumption
  5. Advertisement of dangerous and illicit drugs in the mass media should be prohibited and advertising drugs during children’s programmes should be discouraged. All drugs and medicines should be kept where children cannot possibly get them.
  6. Parents should maintain cordial and close relationships with their children. Children should not be allowed to get frustrated. They should try to understand and identify any problem facing their children and consult a physician for diagnosis if they suspect that such problems are drugs related. This should often be accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional.
  7. Government should study areas and persons that become compulsive for drug users and addicts for common traits, so as to find the conditions, both social and psychological, that possibly make them abuse these drugs and see how to arrive at workable methods of prevention or treatment, rehabilitation and control.
  8. Self-control is also necessary on the part of the abusers, more control than this is punishment. Participation in self-support programmes during and following treatment often is helpful in maintaining abstinence. It is suggested that the predominant method of dealing with drug abuser should be to place the individual in jail (Ibanga, 2000).

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