CHARACTER TRAITS (TOUGH MINDLESS AND AGGRESSION) AND STRESS AS PREDICTORS OF ALCOHOL USE AMONG POLICE OFFICERS IN IBADAN METROPOLIS
The study is geared towards exploring some predicting variables of alcohol use among police officers in Nigeria. Hence, the study investigates whether – character traits (tough-mindness and aggression) as well as stress are significant predictors of alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan metropolis. 500 police officers, which comprises of 488 males and 12 females completed the questionnaire pack of Eyesenck Tough-mindness Scale, Buss and Perry Aggression Scale, International Stress Management Scale and Chinese Drug Involvement Scale. Results showed that tough-mindness and alcohol use are positively and insignificantly related (r=0.53; p>0.05); aggression and alcohol use are positively and significantly related (r=0.22; p<0.05); stress and alcohol use are positively and significantly related (r=0.28; p<0.05) and the joint effect of tough-mindness, aggression and stress were significantly related (f=9.23>2.73; p<0.05). Findings were discussed and relevant recommendations were made for further studies.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Psychoactive substances are chemical substances that when taken, they have the capability to change the consciousness, mood and thinking processes of an individual (WHO, 2004). Alcohol is among the commonest psychoactive substances used (Chebukaka, 2014; Attah, etal, 2016). It is socially accepted and serves as “gateway” to the use of other substances, and as such people begin experimenting with alcohol, cigarette and other hard drugs. Factors such as peer influence, broken family structure, advertisement and the inability to manage stress have been associated to the consumption of hard drugs, alcohol inclusive (Attah, etal, 2016).
The use of alcohol has huge negative effects on health on the global populace. Lately, there has been some occupational, moral or even social justification for the intake of alcohol. Among students, continuous and excessive use has been linked to poor academic performance and school dropout. For some, like the police officers and military men, alcohol consumption is meant to give them vigor, boldness, courage and a sense of toughness, perceived by people. Alcohol is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the global scene. The high rate of deaths in Nigeria, especially among the youths may not be unconnected with the unhealthy lifestyles. Alcohol use among students is characterized by a number of risky behaviors which in the long-run affect their well-being and academic performance. As levels of alcohol intake increase, so also is the prevalence of a variety of risky behaviors. Heavy alcohol intake may lead to depression and liver damage. In addition, alcohol affects many parts of the brain, but the most vulnerable cells are those associated with memory, co-ordination, and judgment. Short-term effects (usually lasts up to 72 hours after heavy use) Alcohol has several physiological and psychological effects, which may inhibit academic performance of students. Cognitive abilities are affected by even small amounts of alcohol and can persist for a substantial period of time after the acute effects of alcohol impairment disappear. Students’ poor academic performance is associated with alcohol consumption; this is because it contributes to students missing classes, failing tests, dropping out of school due to poor grades, and compromising the academic mission of colleges and universities.