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PROMOTING NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH PREVENTION OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the study
Drug abuse has taken a toll on development of the society; this is because the youths, who are the leaders of tomorrow, are the major targets of the abuse of drugs. Drugs abuse give rise to dependence both physical and psychological. Dependence gives rise to mental, emotional, biological or physical, social and economic instability. The effects of drug abuse on an individual therefore form the basis for its cumulative effects on the society. The impact of drug abuse among Nigerian youths has been a sigma of a morally bankrupt.
The various consequences of the drug abuse or drug addictions are so devastating and very shameful to the image and to the detriment of the national
development, to the extend that both the national and international organizations all over the world are also worried about the spread of this scourge among Nigeria youths, These consequences include: Social violence among youths, armed robbery, mental disorder, 419, syndrome, social miscreants (area boys and girls), lawlessness, lack of respect for elders, rape, many more of the social evils (Emmanuel 2014).
Drugs have been introduced in several ways by the society; through the homes, peers, schools, even the church and majorly by the mass media. The mass media go beyond the everyday broadcast and also transcends to the transmission via movies and music. Given the paramount position of the entertainment industry as against that of academic pursuit, thereby the youths are more exposed to the danger of drug abuse.
Drug abuse while it emits hard drugs, also means the taking of drugs without prescription. This study therefore reflects societal troubles as drugs, in its different forms, is slowing down our search for development. Youths are dropping out of school, they are in mental institutions, they are in rehabilitation centres, all boils down to the fact that the mass media is “trying” to perform one of its roles of entertaining. The mass media is the watchdog of the society. The public relies on the media for information, for education and for entertainment. Given the power of the media in determining what the public thinks about, given the power the media has in framing media content in a particular way, given the audience role as absorbers of media content, amongst others, it is not a surprise that the media has a large part to play in the promotion of drug abuse and alcoholism.
For instance, many celebrities who are idolized by teenagers speak out against cocaine and marijuana, but many equally famous stars admit to using the same drugs. In television and other videos, the use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol is common and more often than not, the lead performer is the individual doing the drinking and smoking. Another example can be found in the movies, where some characters are presented as drug users or alcoholics and adolescents are severely exposed to media content as it has become an irresistible to „check out what‟s trendy‟ in the media.
According to the research done by Odhiambo (2012), the study identified that through the media adolescent are brainwashed by the huge advertising industry from early years of childhood. Also, an increasing number of cigarette adverts is designed to apple to teenagers. On this note, Bark (2007) revealed that over 90% of teenagers are aware of the adverts and most say the adverts influence their behaviour.
Despite limited empirical evidence on the effectiveness of the mass media in preventing use of illicit drugs, practitioners can take heart (and guidance) from the much large body of research literature dealing with the impact of media –based interventions on health – related behaviors in general (parlor, 1993) and on the use of licit substances, such as cigarettes. Based on the empirical literature, as noted earlier provides ample evidence that well-planned media campaigns can influence a wide variety of health- related attitudes, norms, and behaviors.
Ample evidence exists of successful campaigns that used these guiding frameworks as social learning theory, diffusion of innovations, the theory of reasoned action, the health belief model, the elaboration likelihood model, and protection motivation theory. Other theoretical perspectives, such as peer cluster theory, can be drawn from school- or community- based prevention efforts. While principles from a number of these theories have been applied, at least implicitly, in drug abuse prevention media campaigns, there has been no systematic evolution of their relative (or combined) efficacy in such interventions. Still, their success in other health contexts strongly suggests that they can be applied effectively to drug abuse prevention.
Discussion on the role of mass media in drug abuse prevention must reflect, to some extent, the history of drug education in general. Early approaches to drug education were based on moral objections to use of drugs or alcohol and advocated temperance. The belief that education can solve social problems has been longstanding despite a lack of supportive evidence. This belief is based on the assumptions that social problems are caused by the maladaptive behaviour of individuals, and that such behaviour can be influenced by education. Mass communication holds substantial promise as a tool for reaching and persuading people to adopt new and healthier lifestyles. This has long been recognized by those interested in prevention of drug abuse and in other unhealthy behavoiurs.
A second phase in the history of drug education involved the use of fear approaches. If people could not be exhorted to avoid recreational drugs, perhaps they could be made afraid to do so. Again, it is known that such approaches did not work. In fact, the use of fear does not appear to lead to appropriate behaviour change, unless specific actions are recommended that will overcome or reduce the fear that is aroused. Subsequently, drug educators came to believe that an appropriate message was one that emphasized the objective facts about the physical properties of drugs, and the consequences (usually long-term health consequences) of using them. These programs did not work well either.
In fact, sometimes they even led to “boomerang” effects, possibly because the information provided served only to increase adolescents‟ curiosity about the substances described, or possibly because adolescents may have, as a result of the viewing environment, become aware of perceived group norms,
and shifted attitudes accordingly. In recent years, there has been increasing recognition that the primary influences on adolescent drug use are social, particularly peer and family influences. Recent prevention programs that make students aware of social influences and provide them with the social skills with which to resist or cope with such influences have been more successful.
There may have been previous researches in this subject. This work gives further explanations and analysis in promoting national development through prevention of drug abuse among secondary school students
H0: There is no relationship between students’ orientation levels on dangers and prevention of drug abuse and the development of the nation
H1: There is a relationship between students’ orientation levels on dangers and prevention of drug abuse and the development of the nation
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