The Effects of Drug Abuse Among Students’ of Higher Learning


This research is a study of drug abuse among students’ of higher learning; a case study of Usmanu. Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. The major research question includes to what extent do students of higher learning indulge in drug abuse? What is the motivating factors? The measure to be taken in rectifies the problems. Questionnaire was administered for the collection of the data and other sources were also used. The research finding reveals that the prevalence of drug abuse is associated with the influences from friends, pressure group, relief of pressure of academic work, and easy accessibility to the drugs. Moreover, most of the students involved in this habit of drug abuse are only aware of the concept but not its medical or social implications. At the end, we are able to put forward the commendation includes: the need for enlightenment of the effects of drug abuse at all levels of education and the need to take legal measures on unlicensed drug dealers.




The issue of Drug abuse has always been an international problem because it has never been possible to confine drugs to their place of origin. “The scale of global drug problems generated concern as long ago as 1909 when the first international Drug conference was convened in Shanghai. Since then, there has been an extensive international program of legislation, lately under the auspices of the United Nations, and between 1912 and 1972 twelve multilateral drug treaties were concluded” (Ghodse and Maxwell, 1990).
In Nigeria, the problem initially came to the attention of research and health care exerts as far back as the early 1960s (Obot, 1993). In hospital – based studies, a pattern of psychiatric morbidity implicating cannabis (Indian hemp) abuse demonstrated by researchers of whom were psychiatrics. What the researchers found was that high proportions of patients admitted into hospitals because of acute psychotic reactions had histories of cannabis abuse. Most of these patients were young students, unemployed urban residents, and low – skilled workers.

The menace of “area boys” across the towns and cities, problems of armed robbery, delinquency among students in institutions of learning, especially students of higher learning, indiscriminate violence in social amusement parks, disloyalty to age mates, elders, parent and even constituted authority by breaching its laws and orders, are some of the social vices which may be related to drug misuse/abuse. Ignorance among the populace and lack of awareness on the use of various drugs and their effects on the body give room for self – medication that may lead to drug abuse.

In the word of Odejide (1993) “The history of drug abuse in Nigeria is a catalogue of changes brought about by such factors as the civil war, unexpected oil boom that followed with its sudden increase in Gross National Product (GNP) and rapid Socio – economic changes and urbanization which also led to disintegration of the family social network, and increase in drugs availability.

Now, the country is facing an unprecedented economic depression”.

This is obvious as health education program is not mandatory in secondary and University curriculum and neither is it taught to community at large? This is the work of health personnel in the ministries of education to inculcate health awareness and wholesome health practiced especially regarding drugs, drugs usage and their effects. There is also the proliferation of patient medicine stores where any type of drugs can be bought whether such drugs are supposed to be over — the – counter drugs or prescription types, and at times those dispensing the drugs lack necessary training and experience in line with pharmaceutical security – risks to the health of the populace through the possibility of drug misuse and abuse.

The peer – group influence is also counted among possible reasons that play a vital role in drug problems of a nation. Students are seen moving about in-groups both at school and outside the school. Most of the time their ambition is centered how to defy school and home norms and the most available medium by which they can do this is through the use of drugs which give them added coverage to achieve their aims. These reasons and many other factors lead to an indiscriminate use of drugs. Hence, the need for guidance and
counseling in schools should be made compulsory. In addition, it is expected that drug education would be considered as part of the curriculum for secondary school and universities.

As technology improves man discovers the pharmaceutical knowledge of investing drugs and testing its effects. Thus, the effect to state the various effect of drugs, and using such terms course side effect or adverse effect, overdose, underdose, abuse, dependence and host of other jargons.

Drugs have been used for pleasure, social religious and medical purpose. It is man’s continuing desire to find cure for all the illness that afflicts him, that had lead to the invention and discovery of more drugs. The interaction of the agent (drug) ‘host (individual) and the environment (society culture) determine the drug-taking behavior in secondary school and most of the higher institution of learning. The drug-taking problem must be viewed in its psychological and social cultural context.

And, drug abusers are easier to recognize, images of young men especially students in squats injecting heroin, of the well- heeled snorting cocaine or of the inebriate under the arches may be reinforced by television, press reports or by walking down the streets of any large town or city. Similarly, patients with drugs and alcohol related problems forum of the day – to – day work lead in causalities, general practice surgeries and hospitals. At a stage, those infected will destroy and prevent them for achieving their goals and lead to death.


In Nigeria today there is a prevalence of drug abuse, which increase at alarming rate requiring an urgent approach to rectify the problem. Frequent crisis in higher instituting with activities rampaging in the higher institutions has all been linked to students who take to drugs.

This problems which cuts across age group. 10 – 40 and that mostly the youth especially students are involved since the youth are the future leaders, they will replace the older one and whatever the characteristics they develop now will manifest in the future.


This research work, is particularly aimed at investing pattern of drug abuse among students of higher learning especially, students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Specifically the objectives of the research work are:
(a) To determine the cause of students indulgence in such a habit.
(b) To identify what students feel are gains derived from their indulgence in drug misuse.
(c) To find – out the means through which students get their drug supply.
(d) To determine the effect drug abuse has on the academic performances of students.
(e) To make recommendation.


1. To what extent do students of Higher learning especially the students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, indulge in drug abuse:
2. What is the consequence, both at individual and social level of drug abuse among students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
3. What measure should be taken by all stakëholders to ratify the problem.


There is no incidence or significance evidence of drug abuse among students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

There is no significant difference in behavior and achievement between the students who take drugs and those who do not.


This study will serve as eye opener to some of the problems of students, and when the cause of a problem is known, finding a solution is easier. The study will also expose some of the major sources of drugs students’ use and this will help to find a way to block such.

The research will be useful to guidance counseling who come in contact with these students. It will also be useful to the government in making laws and policies that will help in terminating this social ill. It will also help the student to know the dangers in drug abuse thereby helping them to desist from it bearing in mind the sorry state of the drug abusers and what they stand to loose and face in the near future, there is a serious need for everyone to join how in finding lasting solution to this man – made menace. In order to have more policy relevance, research like this one is important because school mirror the society, and what is taking place in the school usually get worse in the school. So, there is the need to address this issue from the concept of Student. Thereby, justifying this study as a step towards extirpating this problem it’s entirely.


The Scope of this research project will only be on the abuse of drugs one students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

The limitation of this research project would base on the following:
Problem of respondents attitude: Bearing in mind the ture of this research topic, very few students would be ready to accept abusing drugs.
Time of research project: The time of the project is specified thus making it difficult exercise.
Finance: Generally, like any other project, it will refuse use of money in carrying out the research.


At the center of much of the difficulty that surround the• topic of drugs use, misuse, dependence and addiction, is the difficulty in terminology and description regarding the key issues, popular notions and concepts in this field. It is appropriate to try to define in simple terms crucial words descriptively used daily by both exports and lay public associated with this concept.

DRUGS; is any substance in a pharmaceutical product, which is used to modify or explore physiological system or psychological states for the recipient.

DRUGS ABUSE: is an unusual, wrong and excessive use of substances, which qualify the definition of drugs. It may be excessive consumption or application with or without prescription.

DRUGS ADDICTION: is a state of period or persistent intoxication detrimental to the individual characterized by the ree features:
Strong drive need or compulsion to continue taking drugs.
(b) The development of tolerance, with a tendency to increase the dose to produce the desired effects.
(c) Physical and emotional dependence.

DRUG DEPENDENCE: is a state arising from repeated administration of a drug on a period continues basis.

DRUG TOLERANCE is an adoption state characterized by diminished response to some quantity of drug or drug requiring large to produce the same pharmacodynàmic effect.

STUDENTS (Survey population) in this study means Usmanu Danfodiyo University students officially residents in the hail of, residence during 2002/03 academic year.

USMANU DANFODIYO UNIVERSITY: in this study means the entire faculty in main campus of the university situated at Wamakko local government area of Sokoto state.