PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF HAZARDOUS DRUG USE
PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF HAZARDOUS DRUG USE
The sample included 438 respondents: 268 males (61.03%) and 170 females (38.7%) drawn at random from five faculties and ten departments of the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state using a systematic sampling technique, with ages ranging from 17 to 30 years and a mean age of X = 22.87 and a standard deviation SD= 3.48.
The cross-sectional survey design was used for this investigation. The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-42) produced by Lovibond and Lovibond, (1995) and the Drug Use Disorder Identification Test (DUDIT) developed by Bergman, Palmsterna, and Schlyter, (2003) were the tools utilised in this investigation.
Three different theories were developed and tested. The hypothesis was tested using Pearson r at the.01 level of significance. The study's findings revealed a substantial positive link between anxiety and hazardous drug use among undergraduates.
The study also discovered a substantial positive association between depression and risky drug use among undergraduates. Furthermore, the study found a substantial positive association between stress and risky drug use among undergraduates.
The study's findings provided insight into students' risky drug usage, as ramifications and recommendations were highlighted.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The use of drugs by young people, particularly undergraduates, is now a big concern around the world, given the risks and dangers it poses to their health and emotional well-being.
In Nigeria, drug usage is largely connected with youths, specifically undergraduates. Substance abuse has contributed to an increase in the prevalence of psychological issues among adolescents.
A drug is the only substance that can modify biological function through its chemical activities. A drug, according to the World Health Organisation (2006), is any chemical that, when consumed or absorbed into a live organism's body, changes normal biological functioning.
A drug can also be defined as any chemical that, when consumed or otherwise introduced into the body, has a physical and psychological effect (Okoye, 2001).
According to Balogun (2006), drug use includes any substance that alters perceptions, cognitions, mood, behaviour, and general functioning.
Drugs change body function either positively or negatively based on the user's body composition, the type of drug used, the amount used, and whether used alone or in combination with other drugs.
drug abuse, according to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, is defined as “excessive and persistent self-administration of drugs without regard for medically or culturally accepted patterns.
” Drug abuse, according to the World Book Encyclopaedia (2004), is the non-medical use of drugs that interferes with a healthy and productive life. Manbe (2008) defined drug abuse as the excessive, maladaptive, or addictive use of drugs for purposes other than medical treatment.
Abdulahi (2009) defined drug abuse as the usage of drugs to the point where it interferes with an individual's health and social functions. In essence, drug addiction can be described as the arbitrary over-dependence or misuse of a single drug, with or without prior medical diagnosis from a qualified health practitioner.
According to Mersy (2003), substance use/abuse is defined as the problematic use of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit and prescription substances. It could also be seen as an illegal drug overdose.
Drug usage is a global phenomena that can have a negative impact on one's health, family and society, educational and professional life.
Moronkola (2003) stated that certain chemicals modify the mind; they change the user's feelings, perceptions, and behaviour when consumed because they exert action on the brain. Drugs usually have an effect on one or more of the mental faculties, such as mood, feelings, thoughts, perception, memory, cognition, and behaviour.
Early drug usage is one of the strongest predictors of future drug misuse and dependency, according to studies. According to studies, youths are at a significant risk of drug dependence and substance addiction (Obot, 1989; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, 1996).
According to studies, the most commonly abused drugs or medicines that are most commonly used hazardously among students in Nigeria are alcohol and cigarettes (Okanafua 1992; Okatahi, 2003). Various mood-altering chemicals have been reported to be widely used among Nigerian teenagers (Lambo, 1960).
Global drug use and abuse studies have indicated that early drug usage is one of the best predictors of future drug use and dependency. A variety of variables contribute to the rising usage of drugs among undergraduates in Nigerian universities.
Drug usage may be induced by mental stress in an attempt to ease a variety of social problems. Youths typically use or abuse those drugs arbitrarily, resulting in poor emotional, psychological, and general well-being repercussions.
According to Osayomi (1999), drug usage has always been an integral aspect of occultism since ancient times, and adolescents in tertiary institutions are deeply immersed in this practise. Drug use and misuse are the leading causes of incarceration among juveniles and students, as well as a source of crime and health problems in our society today.
The surge in the number of undergraduates detained in various institutions across the country has become a major issue in recent decades.
Some of the causes that contributed to this arrest were public awareness of the risks of drug addiction and the federal government's “wars on drugs” declared through various agencies such as National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (NDLEA), National Agency for Food and Drug Control (NAFDAC), and so on.
Various mood-altering chemicals have been reported to be widely used among Nigerian teenagers (Lambo, 1960). Drug misuse continues to be a major public health issue around the world (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2005).
For their different everyday activities, many Nigerian youngsters erroneously rely on one or more drugs (such as cigarettes, Indian hemp, cocaine, morphine, Heroine, Alcohol, Ephedrine, Madras, caffeine, glue, Berbiturates, and Amphetamines). (2006) (Oshikoya & Alli).