Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of Drug
2. Meaning Of Harmful Substances
3. Meaning Of Drugs
4. Meaning Of Drug Abuse
5. Forms Of Drug Abuse
6. Kinds Of Drugs
7. Consequences Of Drug Abuse
8. Ways Of Discouraging Drug Abuse In Nigeria
Meaning Of Drug/Substance Abuse
Health issues are vital to all the nations of the world, because the welfare of the citizens is one of the important obligations of any good government. Hence it is always said that “A healthy nation is a wealthy nation” and “Health is wealth.”
Harmful substances are the things that are unwholesome or dangerous for human use or consumption. They among others; include: contaminated food, impure water, rotten fruits, expired drugs, alcoholic drinks, expired juice, tobacco, etc.
Whenever harmful substances are used, they cause great physical damage to our body system which might lead to death or sudden disabilities to the users.
Meaning Of Drugs
Drug is any chemical or biological substance, which when taken into the body can change the functions of the body for good or bad. If it changes the functioning for good, it is called medicine, but when the change produces bad effect, it is called drug.
Drug abuse refers to the use of any drug in a manner that deviates from approved medical guidelines. Another definition goes this way: “it is drug use that results in the physical, mental, emotional, and social impairment of the user”.
According to (NDLEA) National Drug Enforcement Agency, drug is said to be abused if:
1. Its use is legally prohibited.
2. Its use is not medically necessary or for non-medical purposes.
3. It is excessively and persistently self-administered.
Misuse of drugs should not be taken as drug abuse. Whenever drugs are taken outside the given prescription which could be over-dose, or under-dose or even without prescription, it is the misuse of drugs.
Forms Of Drug Abuse
1. Taking medicine without doctor’s prescription.
2. Taking drugs beyond doctor’s prescribed dosage.
3. Taking fake, expired and wrong doses of drug.
4. Smoking of excess cigarettes at a time.
5. Getting drunk with alcoholic drinks.
6. Frequent taking of substances like coffee, pain killing medicine, etc.
7. Taking medicine that can change the user’s mood and perception.
8. Taking narcotics or hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, Indian hemp, etc.
Kinds Of Drugs
1. Narcotic: Narcotic drugs produce a false sense of well-being in the users e.g. Indian hemp or marijuana.
2. Stimulant Drugs: These drugs act on the central nervous system and produce some sensational effect on the brain; thereby causing increased activity, alertness and energy. Examples include: cocaine, kolanuts, tea, coffee. They contain caffeine.
3. Depressant Drugs: These drugs are used to reduce pain and anxiety to the user. Examples: alcohol and Indian hemp. They usually cause brain damage, sterility and infertility.
4. Medical Drugs: These are drugs taken for health reasons. When taken without doctor’s directive, it becomes abuse. Medical drugs are dangerously abused, especially when we patronize street medicine stores, street medicine hawkers and bus medicine sellers and open market sellers. The buyers may end up taking poison in small quantities through fake, adulterated substandard and expired drugs.
Reasons People Abuse Drugs
The following factors account for the abuse of drugs by individuals:
3. Parental Neglect
4. Defense Mechanism
5. Peer Group Influence
6. Lack of Self Discipline
Consequences Of Drug Abuse On Individual, Community, Nation And International Community
The individual may suffer brain damage or mental disorder. He can become violent in action. It can lead to barrenness and infertility in the individual taking them. It can also lead to heart, lungs, liver, kidney and spleen infection. It can bring about social disorganization such as the beggars in the streets.
The individual’s academic calendar can be disrupted. It can result in the individual becoming a cultist, rapist and eventually end up a social casualty. It can cause accident, which could lead to destruction of lives and property.
Some broken homes are as a result of drug abuse. Separation and divorce are good examples. Drug addicts are good carriers of terminal diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Any community infested with drug abuse must suffer the following consequences:
1. Frequent Violent Acts: The community will witness frequent violent acts. Hoodlums will take over the entire community, fighting with dangerous weapons.
2. Drug Abuse Retards The Economic Activities of the community, as drug addicts are lazy and dwell in idleness.
3. The Community Falls Into A Bad And Notorious Neighbourhood: The neighbouring communities will not like to have any meaningful dealings with them.
4. It Can Bring About Damaging Generalizations Or Stigma that can leave indelible marks on the indigenes of the area. The progress of the community is put at stake because of this.
Nations that are labeled with drug abuse suffer in many ways.
1. The citizens are hated and exposed to various security checks.
2. Many innocent citizens end up in prison for offenses they did not commit.
3. A lot of evil acts in a country stagnate it economically.
4. Drug abuse can bring about weak and inefficient leadership in a nation.
5. The country can remain backward for a long period of time.
6. Building of Rehabilitation Centres for drug casualties in the country becomes a big drain on the country’s resources.
4. International Community
Countries that are endemic drug producers or peddlers are always in the news.
1. The country is considered last in bilateral and multilateral relationships.
2. No free trade is allowed into the drug-prone countries. Since no one country is self-sufficient, the natural endowment not found in the country would be hard to import their country.
3. The citizens will be malnourished, ignorant and timid and inward looking with incurable mental inflexibility.
4. Such countries have low level of development, and their citizens have short life span.
Ways Of Discouraging Drug Abuse In Nigeria
There are several ways through which drug abuse can be discouraged in Nigeria. The ways are discussed below:
1. Choosing Good Friends
Drug abuse among youths is on the high side because youths are easily lured into bad company by their friends. Keeping bad friends is a infectious as any deadly disease. Parents should start well by keeping eagle’s eye on the friends their children and wards keep. They should monitor the types of friends, and advise them properly on the inherent dangers of involving in drug use and abuse.
2. Forming Drug-Free Clubs
Drug-free clubs can be formed in the village community, school, church, etc. The club members would among other activities, engage in the inculcation of the right type of behaviour in their members, educate those in the target groups engulfed in drug and other related harmful habits; and aspire towards having a drug-free generation.
3. Acquiring Coping Skills such as:
i. Assertiveness: They should have the ability to express their opinions or desires strongly with confidence, so that people can see and know the truth in them.
ii. Refusal Skills: Have the will power to reject or resist all attempts to lure one into the bad habit. Arm yourself with current information on drugs and its harmful effects.
iii. Problem Solving Skills: The problem-solving approach to overcome dangerous drug issues should be used to engage the attention of those whose stock-in-trade is indulging in drug abuse. If a greater part of the children’s man-hour is gainfully occupied, they would find no time to use harmful drugs.
4. Communication Skills
Children should develop the skills of communicating with their parents whenever they have problems of drugs, try to confide in their parent, teachers or trusted adults, knowledgeable in this area. They should use their understanding of drugs to help their peers, and others around them, to avoid and resist drugs that are harmful to mankind.
5. Decision-making Skills
The ability to think aloud, reflect and make decisions on drugs and other related harmful substances. This skill will empower the youths to think independently and rationalize meaningfully on drug abuses.
6. Constructive Use Of Time
Gainful use of time such as in hobbies, recreational activities or sports, religious activities, etc, would provide a good platform for forming good habits in youths and make them to avoid harmful drugs.