The Causes And Effects Of Drug Abuse On The Performance Of Secondary School Students

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The Causes And Effects Of Drug Abuse On The Performance Of Secondary School Students


This research is aimed at assessing the causes and effects of drug abuse on the performance of secondary school students in Ikeja Local Government Area with the purpose of indentifying the following :

  1. The abuse of drugs among students
  2. The causes of drugs abuse among students
  3. The effects of drug abuse among students
  4. The roles of government on drug abuse

The researcher used the students in the six selected secondary schools in Ikeja Local Government Area.

The instrument used in the study was a set of questionnaire made of 15 multiple choice questions which aided responded to identify the problems. The questions were administered on face to face basis.

The data collected was tabulated and analyzed using simple percentage instrument.

The findings were discussed based on the purpose of the study in relation to literature reviewed.

The analysis indicated that there is wide abuse of drugs among students whereas the possible causes are as a result of friend’s influences, parent’s negligence etc.

Unknowingly, drug abused has led in students the act of forgetfulness as well as poor academic performance.

As a result of the foregoing problems, the school, government and the parents should keep watch on their wards and organize programme which will educate them on how to appreciate their body and desist from drugs.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

In every human society, whether primitive or civilized, the use of drugs takes place. This is a general belief among members of the human society that the intake of certain drugs is capable of assisting man in various ways such as in the reduction of tension, prevention, cure, management of diseases and ailments, alleviation of suffering and pains in the affected part of the body. In fact, the use of drugs has always been part of man’s civilization. For example, the Grecian oracle – Delphi- made use of drugs, Homer‘s cup of Helen was used to induce sleep and provide freedom from curse, and the mandrake root supplied hallucinogenic belldona compounds ( Akinlaye F. A. 2000)

In the African region before the introduction of orthodox medicine, there existed and are still existing the herbalists – the medicine men and women in the environment, who used roots and herbs in the treatment of people having various diseases. (Akinlaye F.A .2000) Many of the drugs can bring about dependence and addiction or habituation or even tolerance as a side effect. Dependence in this case is a state of psychic or also sometimes physical result from the interactions between living organism and a drug characterized by behavioural and other responses that always include a compulsion to take the drug on continuous or periodic basis in order to experience psychic effects and sometimes to avoid its absence. The combination of drug dependence and drug trafficking is not very common. The term Drug is defined as anything that is taken that induced one’s state of consciousness Dusek (1989).

The association of Nigeria (1989/90) defined Drug “as anything taken into the blood stream through any means for psychological and physical experience and these drugs affect the central nervous system” Drug can still be viewed as any substance other than food that can by its nature affect human functioning . Oladele M.O.A (2010). He went further to say drug can be used in diagnosis, treatment of diseases or prevention. Saranson (1976) shared the same opinion that drug is any substance other than food which by its chemical nature affect the structure or function of the living organism. From the various definitions ‘Drug’ in the simplest and commonest sense is any material or substances that is used to treat and prevent illnesses and promote good health .

Drugs are substances natural or synthetic that affects the body. Some drugs are extracted from plants, others are extracted from animal tissues and some others are from minerals. For example, Morphine, a powerful painkiller is derived from poppy seed pod while antibiotics including penicillin are produced in culture of bacteria, yeast, molds and other living micro-organisms. Today advances in science and technology and drug development have led to the production and consequently the availability of more drugs in the society. A problem created by this increase in the availability of these drugs is the lacks of full understanding of the usefulness or harmful effects. Drugs can be classified into three

They are

  1. The Legal Drugs
  2. The Illegal Drugs
  3. The socially acceptable Drugs
The Legal Drugs:

These are drugs that have been approved by the society for sale either prescription only or over the counters such as paracetamol, antibiotics and multivite.

The Illegal Drugs:

These are drugs whose manufacture and distribution are prohibited by law. They includes hard drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and Heroine

The socially acceptable drugs:

These are drugs generally not regarded as drug by layman but they do have effect on the functioning of the body system of those who take them and are therefore drugs. The socially acceptable drugs include cigarette alcohol, cigar, tea and coffee, snuffs and tobacco chewing or smoking.

Most drugs especially those classified as legal ones have specific dosages prescribed by qualified medical doctors for various ailments. Despite the prescribed dosages, it has been observed that some people fail to keep to the administered drugs without any doctor’s prescription either because they have used the particular drugs before (then it was prescribed) and they got positive results or because they got information from friends and relatives about its effectiveness in curing their illnesses

In Drug Abuse the word “Abuse” is a word that defined or explained in a phrase “wrong use of” or makes a bad use of’ Akinlaye (2000), viewed it as any intake of drugs excess or without the prescription of a qualified medical doctor or taking drugs to an extent that can cause social or medical harm result in drug abuse .The World Health Organization (WHO) (1982) explains that drug abuse is a persistent or sporadic excessive drug used in consistently with or unrelated to acceptable medical practice. Drug Abuse involves self administration of drugs in a manner that deviates from the approved medical and social patterns within a given culture .Those who abuse drugs in Nigeria can be classified into three groups. They are

  1. Social group – These are young people who belong to a gang or social group (like the area boys and some secondary school students) who do not have enough money to buy drugs such as cigarette, alcohol drinks and even hard drug and as a result they share the drugs amongst themselves. Also, adults who only take alcoholic drink e-g Guilder beer, star beer, etc. at social functions which can be taken free of charge also belong to this group)
  2. Experimental group-many young people take drugs as a form of experiment to see if they can be relieved of their problems.
  3. Courier group Members of this group trade in hard drugs. They push and sell the drug by the get-rich- quickly syndrome, that has pervaded Nigerian society in recent years. In addition to this, they also take drugs. They involved in drug business because of the monetary reward. Akinlaye (2000) in search of increased performance long distant drivers, tailor, athletes, footballers, student artists are involved.

The world is full of competitiveness consequently many people get themselves involved in drug for increased output. Quite a number of footballers in sport generally and artists have been disqualified in international competition because of involvement in drugs. The use of drug cut across many professions – lawyers, Engineers, Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists, as well as Children from rich background who can afford it. The World Health Organization (WHO) (1982) identified about eighty different drugs that are commonly abused to be

  1. Cocaine
  2. Alcohol
  3. Tobacco
  4. Marijuana
  5. Heroin
  6. Hallucinogens
  7. 7Sedatives
  8. Industrial solvents Akinlaye. (2000)

Much emphasis need to be placed about Alcohol , it is a type of commonly used and legitimized drug whether brewed locally from sugar cane , raffia palm or from cereals in terms of Burukutu (Bkt) are highly intoxicating for example local gin which is adorned with so many local names (Nwabuzo 2010). If the use of the term drug is limited to only hard drug or dangerous /illegal drug, it means that a substance like alcohol which cause addiction, dependence and tolerance will not be there in the picture it will be realistically existent but without being aware of its effects, such a mistake of unawareness will blindfold the society and deprive her of part of her duty according to Tindall (2005). Therefore, dependence Addiction and tolerance are side effect of Alcohol or Drug Abuse.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Drug abuse is seen as cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fiber of the Africans. It is also discovered that

  1. Many take drugs without having the knowledge of its usefulness and the harmful effects on their body.
  2. Student Academics performance is low.
  3. Possible solutions on the causes and effect of drug abuse need urgent attention
  4. The role of parents /guardians to their children on drug abuse is relegated.
  5. The role of Government on Drug abuse is no more felt in Nigerian society.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

This research is to find out the effects of drug abuse on student academic performance also the measures of government on drugs as well to create awareness to the masses on the hazard of drug abuse on human body /health

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is drug abuse common among students in Lagos state?
  2. What are the possible causes of drug abuse among the students?
  3. Has there been any victim of drug abuse?
  4. What are the effects of drug abuse on the students’ academic performance?
  5. What are the roles/ measures taken by government s on drug abuse?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research work will serve as an exposition to students. As it will inform students on the dangers or harmfulness of drugs on them.

  1. It will also discourage students from intake of drugs
  2. It will proffer possible solutions for the government on how to eradicate Drug Abuse as a problem.
  3. It will inform parents on their roles towards their children against drugs usage.

In addition to the above, it will enhance the teacher / instructors, curriculum planners, Educationist/masses on possible ways to discourage drug abuse in the society.

1.6 The Scope of the Study

This study will cover some selected schools at random from Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to examine the causes and effects of drug abuse on the performance of secondary school students using selected secondary schools in Ikeja, Lagos state as a case study. The study specifically was aimed to find out the effects of drug abuse on student academic performance also the measures of government on drugs as well to create awareness to the masses on the hazard of drug abuse on human body /health.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 200 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from teachers and students of the 4 selected secondary schools in Ikeja local government area, Lagos state.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. The possible causes of drug abuse among the students includes peer pressure, Self-Medication & Escape, Performance Improvement, Experimentation, To Feel Grown Up, Friend’s influences, and Parent’s negligence.
  2. There been victim of drug abuse in some of the schools.
  3. The effects of drug abuse on the students’ academic performance includes Act of forgetfulness, Poor academic performance, and Mental health problem

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. The ministry of education and NDLEA should initiate comprehensive programmes that may engage the youth within schools more active rather than being idle such as tree planting, sporting activities and voluntary programmes like anti-drug abuse clubs, cleaning the environment etc, which may minimize idleness.
  2. School administrators should be strict on school drug policy and have special offices dealing with drug abuse.
  3. The Ministry of Education should introduce clear policies on drug abuse prevention to all learning institutions making them to have programmes such as having regular visits for guest speakers in schools. All schools ought to have strategic academic plan for the whole year and copies be submitted to the Ministry of Education, Science, technology and Vocational Training certified by District Executive Officers.
  4. Ministry of Education should have strict policy that student level of satisfaction be investigated on admission, reasons identified and counselling done where necessary. A student’s character assessment should be used yearly to test different dimensions such as discipline, academics and relationship with teachers and students among others.
  5. Parents should be more concerned with negative impacts against their children especial when they are out of the school environments.
  6. The school, government and the parents should keep watch on their wards and organize programme which will educate them on how to appreciate their body and desist from drugs.

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