BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Drug abuse, according to Ajayi and Ayodele (2012), is the wrong use or inappropriate use of chemical substances that are capable of changing functions of cells in the body. Bayer, as cited in Egbochuku and Akerele (2007), saw stimulants, which are substances that cause an increase in the activity of an organ in the body, as chemicals that excite certain activities of the central nervous system. Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010) also saw drug abuse as over-dependence and misuse of one particular drug with or without a prior medical diagnosis from qualified health practitioners. They further identified dangerous drugs like cocaine, Indian hemp (marijuana), morphine, heroin, tobacco, ephedrine, valium five and Chinese capsules as few among the drugs commonly abused by youths. Oshodi, Aina and Onajole (2010) reported that, despite worldwide concern and education about psychoactive substances, many adolescents have limited awareness of their adverse consequences. They further explained that curiosity, social pressure and peer group influence are noted to be primary reasons for substance misuse. Makanjuola, Daramola and Obembe (2007), Aina and Olorunsola (2008), and Buddy (2009) lamented that a substantial percentage of the national budgetary allocation is utilized for treatment and rehabilitation of people with substance use problems in Nigeria. In an attempt to control sleep or energise themselves, most adolescents and young ones start experimenting with tobacco, alcohol, ephedrine and other caffeinated substances such as Nescafe and red bull. Some of the reasons for the drug abuse, as identified by Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010), are to reduce pain, anxiety and tension, ignorance and misinformation, parental background, urge to commit crimes, peer group influence, isolation and loneliness. Linhadt (2001) also noted that youths see the use of stimulants in positive terms for relief from pain and problems, elevation of mood, wakefulness, increased confidence, feeling and psychomotor activities and athletics, and feeling of euphoria. McCrystal, Higgins and Percy (2007) confirmed that for many adolescents, drug abuse has now become a part of their lives and perhaps may have now contributed to their failure in life. It is a popularly held belief that the youths of any nation are the leaders of tomorrow. They are the vehicles through which positive changes can be realized. This is why many tend to invest on the future development of its youths. Governments, parents, and guardians devote a lot of time and resources in order to explore and harness the potentialities of youth. Therefore, societies that neglect the youth development may negatively affect future national development. Youth when neglected, can find escape and solace in such things as drug abuse, pick-pocketing, loitering, rape, auto-theft, truancy, delinquent or criminal act and insurgency (Radda, 2009). The term ‘Youth’ varies in definition, form and approach. A youth as defined by the National Youth Policy is any individual who is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, between the ages of 18-35. This age group occupies the transition between childhood and adulthood exhibiting attributes of childhood dependence and independence of adulthood (Muraskin, 1999). Furthermore, the hope and aspiration of any society lie on the calibre of youth in that society. However, Uthaymeen (2012) argued that if we take an examining look at the youth, in Nigeria, we will be able to conclude that youths generally are of categories; the upright youth, the corrupt youth and the confused youth. The second and third types of youth are the one that will be discussed in this paper because they are not productive and they are the type always fought against the constituted authorities. As a result of this Weekly Trust (2016) posits that more Nigerian youths are becoming drug addicts, while Nigeria gradually graduates from a drug consuming nation to a drug producing one. Furthermore, the Chairman of NDLEA, expressed concern over the emergence of illegal laboratories for the production of illicit drugs. He said that the NDLEA had discovered two clandestine laboratories installed for the illicit production of methamphetamine in Lagos. The first laboratory was discovered in July 2011 and two Nigerians are currently being prosecuted while the second laboratory was detected in February this year. Williams, (2016) maintained that, over 6 million bottles of codeine are sold on a daily basis in the North West part of the country. National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) report of 2010 also shows that over 11% of people in the North-West zone use drugs. He also said due to the rise in drug addiction, young people make use of cough syrups to make themselves high. “We have had few newspaper reports where people kill owners of pharmacy shops or chemists because they refused to sell codeine to them.” A doctor said younger people abuse prescription drugs almost much more than what is referred to as illicit drugs. He disclosed that majority of patients who visit their facility are those who use combination of substances. “We don’t have people that use single substance; some take cocaine, heroin, codeine, cannabis and alcohol at the same time.” Consequently drug addiction is a case peculiar with people between the ages of eighteen and twenty. Though there are cases recorded of people younger and older than this age range. He explained that these substances referred to as volatile substances or inhalants could be fumes from petrol, glue, nail polish, paint, chemicals to dilute paints, bases of gutters, codeine in some medicines, and other such agents. “Addicts inhale these directly or pour them on pieces of clothing which they put over their noses and inhale. They also pour the substances in waterproof bags,” he said “Also in locations like factories where the concentrations of such chemicals are high addicts sit in the room and simply inhale the chemicals” (Amedu, 2016).
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The abuse of drugs and crime are among the social problems that are affecting Nigerian economy which in turn is affecting its development. The drug abuse problem is so pervasive to the extent that it becomes a serious development challenge and continued to undermine the individual efforts of Nigeria government (Abang, 2006; NDLEA, 2008). Nigeria is not entirely inactive recipient of drugs produced in other parts of the world. Equally, it contributes its shares to the cultivation, manufacturing, transits and abuse of wide range of drugs. Unfortunately, youth that constitute the manpower and future of Nigerian society are mostly the victims (Abdullahi, 1991). Federal Ministry of Youths and Sport 2010 observed that, Nigerian youths aged 10-30 years are about 49% of the country's population. National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (2010) observed that, over 38% of Nigerian Youths abuse drugs. According to Abang (2012), in contemporary Nigeria, many categories of youths (male and female) are hooked on drug abuse problem. This include an unbelievable large number of primary and secondary school pupils, undergraduate students, servicemen, cattle rearers, unemployed, nurses, pharmacists, and even medical doctors. During the 1960's young people in substantial number began to abuse drugs like marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, barbiturates, mandrax and more recently codeine which have acquired greater proportion. In Nigeria the youth drug scene is not limited to the cities. Drug subculture phenomenon is found in sub-urban areas and certainly more so in depressed urban areas. At the moment, these deviant youths cultures exhibit peculiar behavior which is characterized by bizarre clothing, unconventional hair styles, sexual non conformity, illicit or bad drugs use, which are not peculiar to this nation but have acquired an international pattern (Kalunta, 2012).According to Abdullahi (2005), drug abuse leads to high rate of crime, fuel conflict, political thuggery, religious intolerance, raping, domestic violence, suicide, etc in the society. It also affects the psychological and physical conditions of abusers.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine drug abuse and crime among Nigerian 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 from marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and amphetamines to the abuse of codeine. 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.
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.
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 crime problem in our society.
f. This research work will be used for academic purpose, therefore assisting in providing literature in new areas like codeine abuse.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to Drug abuse and crime among Nigerian youths, a case study of Lagos state.
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, 2012).
Drug addiction: Addiction to drugs or alcohol means that a person’s body can no longer function without these substances. An addicted person may show a decline in academic performance, frequently fail to attend classes, lose interest in school work and display weakened motor coordination, poor health, and a lack of interest in old friendships. Addiction by its nature distorts thinking processes giving prominence to thoughts, which justify the addictive behavior and minimize or exclude thoughts about ceasing the behavior (Miller, 2012; Diclemente, 2006).
Youth: Refers to young people between 13 and 25 years of age or their activities and their characteristics. The majority of students 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 students.
OTHER SIMILAR SOCIOLOGY PROJECTS AND MATERIALS