EFFECT OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN AND THE ROLES OF TEACHERS AND PARENTS (EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
Drug abuse may be defined as over dependence or excessive use of or misuse of chemical substances to achieve a certain effect with or without medical diagnosis. They also may be drugs obtained with a prescription, used for pleasure rather than for medical reasons.
According to world book medical encyclopedia, drug abuse is the harmful use of mind altering drugs. It added that the term usually refers to problem with illegal drugs which also include harmful use of legal prescription drugs such as in self medication.
Godman and Gilman (1960) define drug abuse as the use of drug usually by self administration of any drug in a manner that deviates from the approved medical pattern or within a written culture.
Amunonye (1979) defines drug as a substance which by its chemical nature has an effect upon the body or the higher nervous system (the mind). Therefore, many substances not usually thought of as drugs covered by this definition include caffine, nicotine, alcohol, household chemicals and pollutants.
It is important to note that drug abuse is not contained simply to the abuse of dangerous drugs like narcotics-opium, heroine etc but also the abuse of panadol, codeine, antibiotics, laxatives etc in other words every substance apart from food is a drug and must therefore be regarded as being detrimental to health if not taken under proper medical advice or used correctly accordingly to medical prescription.
Almost everybody in this country either knowingly or unknowingly is guilty of drug abuse. An anxious mother seeing that her child has frequent stooling, instead on taking the child to the hospital, goes to the chemist and buy an antibiotic syrup and gives to the child because such medication was prescribed for a friends child who had similar problem such mother is guilty of drug abuse. She might have given an over dose of the drug which will result in health hazards of the child.
According Ebie and Pela (1980) the Nigerian society does not usually frown at the abuse of drugs which does not produce over behavioural changes. The primitive people recognized the use of tobacco, native brewed drinks, cocoa leave and kolanuts to provide pleasurable relief of pain, fatigue and hunger but never realized they were abusing drugs.
Different drugs have different effects some, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, may produce an intense “rush” and initial feeli9ng of boundless energy. Others such as heroine, benzodiazepines or the prescription oxycontin may produce excessive feelings of relaxation and calm. What most drugs have in common though is over stimulation of the pleasure centre of the brain. With time the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. This compelling urge to used, addition, becomes more and more powerful, disrupting work, relationships and health.
Prescription drug abuse is just as dangerous as street drug use. When used appropriately, prescription drugs in the opiate family, such as vicodin (hydrocodone) and oxycontin, are often prescribed for chronic pain or recovery from surgery. Benzodiazaphines, such as valium or xanax are prescribed to treat anxiety. The problem arises when these drugs begin to be used “off label”.