BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Today’s generation of youths and young adults are growing up immersed in social media, such as Facebook, instagram and Twitter, that promote user-generated content and interactions between users (Lenhart et al. 2009). The use of such media is especially high among these age groups (Madden et al. 2013). Social media sites are an environment, in which drug-related content is frequently created and consumed by youths and young adults (Moreno et al. 2009). Displayed drug references on social media may include information and images pertaining to drug (Moreno et al. 2009, 2010a) that may influence viewers (Litt and Stock 2011; Moreno et al. 2009a) and be indicative of offline drug use (Moreno et al. 2011). This work will discuss social media, their popularity, and their social nature that promotes information sharing and peer connections. It also reviews health behaviour theories that support the influential nature of social media, including a newer conceptual approach called the Facebook Influence Model. This work will describe first, efforts to use social media for drug prevention and intervention and explores how future work could enhance such efforts through observational studies and intervention development. Given the host of health and economic problems associated with drug use, there is increasing interest in identifying factors associated with their use. A number of studies have identified substance use among others within the peer group, or social network, as a correlate of substance use. However, it is not clear whether individuals are influenced by what people post on social media, or if their own drug use influences their choice of friends. Furthermore, much of the research examining the direction of the association between drug use and network drug use has been conducted among adolescents, whereas less is known about this association among adults who have already initiated substance use. Having an enhanced understanding of the direction of influence between peer drug use and an individual's substance use is crucial to identifying appropriate interventions. Substance use–related communication for drug use promotion and its prevention is widely prevalent on social media. Social media big data involve naturally occurring communication phenomena that are observable through social media platforms, which can be used in computational or scalable solutions to generate data-driven inferences. Despite the promising potential to utilize social media big data to monitor and treat substance use problems, the characteristics, mechanisms, and outcomes of substance use–related communications on social media are largely unknown. Understanding these aspects can help researchers effectively leverage social media big data and platforms for observation and health communication outreach for people with substance use problems. The discussion focuses largely on instagram, one of the most popular social-networking sites at present, because the greatest volume of research has been published about these sites. The present study tends to find the relationship between drug use and social media consumption among youths.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
A few studies have highlighted the use of illicit drug use among youths in Nigeria. It can be argued that Nigeria is reeling under the scourge of drug and social media addiction. The problem is eating away many youths at an alarming pace but many remain oblivious to this danger. Even though there is general agreement that drug abuse and social media consumption is not good for one’s health, the widespread of substance abuse and social media addiction has not attracted much attention and campaigns like other social ills yet it poses an imminent threat to the societal fabric of Nigeria. Many young people who are now deeply into drug, substance use and social media consumption are struggling to come out. Their lives are in tatters, with hopeless and uncertain future on the horizon. It is against this backdrop that despite the fact that drug prevention in Nigeria is a top priority the situation remains unabated. This paper contends that, despite the efforts of various stakeholders to raise awareness on substance abuse globally and in Africa, more youth continue to abuse substances. It is of utmost importance to note that the effects of substance abuse on families, communities, and nations at large cannot be overemphasized. For this reason, this paper will specifically focus on substance abuse and social media consumption. An assessment of services put in place to address this problem will also be made. It is worth noting that in Nigeria, most of the available studies in the country focused more on the effects and impact of substance abuse, leaving a gap of knowledge, to explore further, on how drugs abuse relates with social media. Drugs abuse and social media addiction are the most abused substances in Africa, and Nigeria is no exception.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the relationship between drug use and social media consumption among youths. Other specific objectives of the study include;
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work is therefore important in the following ways:
a. The new trend of drug abuse is shifting and the use of social media by the youths is also on the increase every day. This will help in providing adequate information in the area of codeine abuse and investigating why youths are shifting to that area of drug abuse and social media addiction.
b. It will expose the most common drugs abused by youths and the sources of such drugs.
c. To exposed the youths to accurate and up-to-date factual information about drugs and harmful effect of drug abuse and social media addiction.
d. This work will contribute to knowledge through creating awareness and drawing the attention of the law enforcement agencies, government and general society to the causes of drug abuse among youths in our societies.
e. Suggestions to be offered from the empirical data gathered will help to reduce or eliminate drug abuse and internet crime problem in our society.
f. This research work will be used for academic purpose, therefore assisting in providing literature in new areas of drug abuse and social media consumption.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the relationship between drug use and social media consumption among youths in Jos. A case study of instagram.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Drug: Any product other than food or water that affects the way people feel, think, see, and behave. It is a substance that, due to its chemical nature, affects physical, mental and emotional functioning. It can enter the body through chewing, inhaling, smoking, drinking, rubbing on the skin, or injection.
Drug abuse: Use of drugs for non-medical purposes. Drug abuse refers to the misuse of any psychotropic substances resulting in changes in bodily functions, thus affecting the individual socially, cognitively or physically. Social effects may be reflected in an individual’s enhanced tendency to engage in conflicts with friends, teachers, and other school authorities. Cognitive effects can be seen in the individual’s lack of concentration on academic work and memory loss (Eysenck, 2011).
Drug Use: Drug use is a broad term to cover the taking of all psychoactive substances within which there are stages: drug-free (i.e. non-use), experimental use, recreational use and harmful use, which is further sub-divided into misuse and dependence.
Youth: Refers to young people between 13 and 25 years of age or their activities and their characteristics. The majority of youths in Nigerian secondary schools are between 13 and 19 years, a stage referred to as adolescence. The term youth therefore includes this age bracket of youths.
Social media: Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.
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