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Abstract

PERCEPTION OF USERS AND
RATIONALE FOR USAGE OF FOUR
SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE DRUGS
AMONG ADOLESCENTS
ADEPOJU OLUWASANUMI A. (Ph.D.)
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
FACULTY OF EDUCATON
GOMBE STATE UNIVERSITY
GOMBE STATE
OGUNRINADE ADEWALE O. (M.A.)
DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES
FACULTY OF ARTS & SOCIAL SCIENCES
GOMBE STATE UNIVERSITY
GOMBE STATE
ABSTRACT
The study investigated the views of adolescent students of a secondary school as regards the users of and factors responsible for usage of four drugs caffeine, alcohol, nicotine (in cigarette and kola nut) and marijuana among adolescents. 172 randomly selected senior secondary schools students of the school constituted the study sample. Data collection was with the aid of an instrument developed by the researcher and called Socially Acceptable Drug Usage Questionnaire (SADUQ). SADUQ yielded a test-retest reliability From the results, the study concluded that adolescents generally held negative views of users of alcohol, marijuana and nicotine (in cigarette and kolanut) but held positive views of users of caffeine, viewing its users as being academically serious minded. The study also indicated that, the need to stay alert for study would most likely influence the choice of the adolescents to taking to the usage of caffeine while peer pressure would be the strongest influencing factor INTRODUCTION
The period of boys and girls at the age group 15 – 18 years (which corresponds to the senior secondary school stage in Nigeria) is labeled as the adolescent stage. It is a period in which an individual transit from childhood to adulthood and is marked by series of changes. At this period, the growing young adult is prone to experimenting One of such things (s)he experiments with is drug (Ndukwu, 1998, Steinberg, 2002). A drug may be viewed as any chemical substance that can cause changes in our body (Encarta Encyclopedia Standard Studies have indicated that drug usage and abuse among adolescents is a worldwide problem (Johnstone, et al 1999, cited in Steinberg, 2002). Nigeria like other countries of the world is also faced with the issue of drug usage and abuse among its youths (Adepoju & Ogunrinade, 2006). Different categories of drugs are used by adolescents, notable among are alcohol which is found in drinks such as beer, wines and spirit. Oftentimes, alcoholic beverages in various forms (palm wine, illicit gin etc) are used for social, cultural and religious events (Adepoju & Another drug which is also socially acceptable is caffeine. It is a drug found in kolanut and Nescaffe (a beverage). When taken in moderation, it can reduce drowsiness and improves mental alertness. However, high dosage may cause headache, sleeplessness, dizziness and raised blood pressure (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 2003, p. 232.). Caffeine usage in kolanut is socially acceptable since it is synonymous with entertainment of guests and other socio- cultural and religious events (Adepoju & Ogunrinnade, 2006). Presently, however, caffeine in beverages especially in Nescafe enjoys a high patronage among secondary school adolescents as a result of its perceived effects in making students to stay alert to study, (Adesoji, 1999, Steinberg, 2002,). Nicotine, a harmful drug found in cigarette, pipe and tobacco is another drug that had won itself into young people’s heart (Steinberg, 2002). Although, frowned at as a drug especially in cigarette, its usage is still to some extent socially acceptable, as it is not classified as an illegal substance. Related to cigarette usage is the usage of marijuana among adolescents. Marijuana comes from Indian hemp (cannabis plant). The use of cigarette has been said to be highly correlated with the use of marijuana. In fact, it is regarded as a “gateway drug” since its usage usually is an indication of the tendency to use bad drugs There are a wide array of reasons why adolescences may take to drug usage and abuse. The World Health Organisation (cited in Awake! April 8, 2003 p.4) gave a summary of five reasons why young ones are drawn to drug usage. They want to feel grown up and make own decisions. The OUTREACH Magazine No. 65. (undated pp.1-2) however classified the factors influencing usage of drugs among adolescents into three: Pharmacological: The biological effects of the usage on the users. Individual: The personal reasons and personality type of the drug users. Social: The effect of grouped and of culture on drug usage. In view of the fact that adolescents would always be attracted to drug usage for a variety of reasons, an assay of their perceptions of the rationale for usage and users of these socially acceptable drugs would provide empirical information that would give further insight into understanding the views of this drug prone component of the population on drug usage and users. Statement of the Problem
The focus of this study is to empirically find out the views of adolescents as to the users of and what might be responsible for drawing adolescents to the usage of the following four socially acceptable drugs: Research Questions
Two research questions were posed to address the focus of the study: What is the perception of adolescents as to the users of each of the What are the reasons the adolescents would adduce to the usage of each of METHODOLOGY
The Target Population
The senior secondary school students of the oldest secondary school in Iwo Local Education District (LED) of Osun State Nigeria was the target population. The school was established by a Christian Mission in 1955, before its take over by the State Government. The School is regarded as one of the best public schools within the LED and it has a track record of discipline, moral and Sampling and Sample
Simple random sampling was used to select approximately 20% of students that were available in each of the senior secondary classes of the school. In all, the study sample comprised 172 students. Table 1 presents a summary of Table 1: Summary of the Study Sample by Gender and Class
Instrumentation
The instrument used for data collection was developed by the researchers. The instrument was named “Socially Acceptable Drug Usage Questionnaire. (SADUQ). SADUQ has three sections A, B and C. Section A sought for some personal information from respondents. Section B requested the respondents to indicate the extent of their usage of each of the four drugs. Section C (which is of direct relevance to the study) solicited information regarding the perception of respondents on users of the drugs and rationale for their usage. The instrument yielded a test-retest reliability coefficient of 0.8110. Data Collection and Analysis
The 172 selected students were assembled in three classrooms during the break period. The instrument was then administered on them by the researchers with the assistants of four of their teachers. Due to the nature of administering the instrument (each of the items of the instrument was read to them and they were required to immediately indicate their responses while one of the assistants went round to verify that respondents heeded to the instructions as they also attended to any problem the students might have), 100% rate of return and adequate filling of The data collected were subjected to simple descriptive statistics of frequency count in order to provide answers to the two research questions posed. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The results with respect to research question 1 are summarized in Table 2 while that of research question 2 are summarized in Table 3. Table 2: Adolescents, Perception of the Users of Four Socially Acceptable Drugs.
PERCEPTION OF USERS
Students one cannot associate with 122 (70.9) Percentages in parentheses
Table 3: Adolescents Perception of Rational For Usage of the Four Socially
Acceptable Drugs.

RATIONAL FOR DRUG USAGE
To be acceptable by friends/peer 80 (46.5) Percentages in parentheses
Table 2 presents the summary of the impression of the adolescent students as regards the users of the four drugs. The Table shows that the views held by most of the adolescent students on the users of the drugs were: irresponsible students (reason 1), students from broken homes (reason 2), students who are not religious (reason 3), students one cannot associates with (reason 4) and frustrated It is of interest to note that as high as 82.0% of the students held the view that users of caffeine were “hardworking students” (reason 5). As regards alcohol, 73.8% of the students were of the impression that users of alcohol were “from broken homes”. Concerning the users of marijuana, 64.0% of the adolescents perceived its users as those “one cannot associate with”. 79.1% of the students held the impression that the users of nicotine (in cigarette) were “irresponsible This thus implies that generally, the adolescents held negative perceptions of users of three of the drugs (nicotine, marijuana and alcohol). In fact, it can be surmised that an average adolescent student of the school was of the view that a typical user of any of these drugs is an irresponsible, and ungodly students from broken homes and is not worthy of associating with. The adolescents surveyed however tend to be of positive views of users of caffeine. In fact, as high as 82.0% of them held the impression that users of caffeine were “hardworking students”. Interestingly, 61.6% of the adolescents were of the view that caffeine users were “from rich homes”. Thus, a typical user of caffeine among adolescents was perceived as a hardworking students who was possibly from parents / guardians of high socioeconomic status (rich homes). For the purpose of the discussion, a reason is taken as a viable influencing factor if not less than 45% of the respondents rated it as such. Thus, from Table 3, it can be inferred that reason 1: “to assist in reading” would influence students’ usage of only caffeine. Reason 2: “to help one to be bold” would most probably be a factor for students to taking marijuana. The need to improve sexual pleasure (reason 3) would most probably move students to taking alcohol and marijuana. Influence of friends (reason 4) is a potent factor capable of influencing the adolescents to all the drugs except caffeine. None of the four drugs (based on the specified criterion) was perceived by the students as capable of making one to be happy (reason 6). If adolescents students need drugs for the purpose of being strong to fight (reason 7), they would most probably take to marijuana and then to alcohol. Pleasure seeking (reason 8) would likely induce the adolescents to taking alcohol and caffeine. If the purpose is just the taking of the drugs for the fun of it (reason 9), the students would most likely take to the usage of alcohol. As regards the needs to be acceptable by peers, (reason 10), students may experiment with all the drugs except caffeine. If the need is to sleep well (reason 11), the adolescent students would most likely take to alcohol. Finally, as regards thinking fast (reason 12), students would try caffeine. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
From the results of this study, it can be surmised that an average senior secondary school adolescent student is most likely to be of the view that a typical adolescent users of alcohol, marijuana and nicotine (cigarette) is an irresponsible and ungodly students from a broken home and thus, not worthy of associating with. The typical perception of the users of caffeine being that of a serious student from parents of high socioeconomic status. Based on the results, it can also be concluded that academic reasons could most likely induce an adolescent student to the usage of caffeine. Peer pressure would most likely be the influencing factor to taking alcohol and cigarette, while violence prone students would most likely take to the usage of marijuana. This study thus had shed more light on the perception of adolescent students on usage and users of some drugs. It thus calls for the need for all, especially teachers, school guidance counselors, parents and administrators to watch out for some of the “symptoms” especially the usage of alcohol and cigarette (the gateway drugs) (Steinberg, 2002 p. ) that may make these growing young adults to taking to drugs. Especially is the need to assist and educate these young ones as to how to avoid and resist peer pressure which is a strong influencing factor to taking to the use of the gateway drugs. Educating adolescents on drug usage and abuse would no doubt help them to hold proper views of drug usage and the grave negative consequences on their health, education, future and the general society. REFERENCES
Adepoju O.A. & Ogunnaride A.O. (2006). A Survey of the Incidents of Usage of
Four Socially Acceptable Drugs Among Adolescents of a Senior
Secondary School
. Article Submitted for Publication.
Adesoji, F.A. (1999). Drug Abuse Among Undergraduates of a Nigerian University. In Obemeta. J.O., Ayodele S.O., & Araromi M.A. (Eds).
Evaluation in Africa in Honour of E.A. Yoloye. Ibadan: Stirling –
Horden Publishers (Nig). Ltd. 340 – 350.
Encarta Encyclopedia Standard Edition (2005). Microsoft Incorporated (CD-
Ndukwu N. (1998). Child development psychology: a guide to teachers and
parents. Lagos: Dedun Educational Books.
OUTREACH No. 65. (Undated). Drugs Part I: Medical drugs. New York
Sadiq S.I. (2004). Students Perception of Drug Abuse and Drug Abuses Among
Secondary School Students in Oshodi / Isolo Local Government Area
of Lagos State
. An Unpublished B.ed Research Project. Adekunle
Ajusin University, Akungba, Ondo State.

Steinberg L. (2002). Adolescent (6th Ed). New York. Mc. Grawhill.
The New Encyclopedia Britannica Volume 4. Micropaedia (2003). USA:
Encyclopedia Britannica Incorporated. Pg 232. PERCEPTION OF USERS AND RATIONALE FOR USAGE OF FOUR
SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE DRUGS
AMONG ADOLESCENTS
Information on authors
1.
Name: ADEPOJU OLUWASANUMI A.
Degrees: B.Sc. (Ed.), M.Ed., (Ph.D.)
Status: Lecturer
Affiliation:
Department of Education, Faculty of Education
2.
Name: OGUNRINADE ADEWALE O.
Degrees: B.A. M.A.
Status: Lecturer
Affiliation: Department of Religious Studies Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
ABSTRACT
The study investigated the views of adolescent students of a secondary school as regards the users of and factors responsible for usage of four drugs caffeine, alcohol, nicotine (in cigarette and kola nut) and marijuana among adolescents. 172 randomly selected senior secondary schools students of the school constituted the study sample. Data collection was with the aid of an instrument developed by the researcher and called Socially Acceptable Drug Usage Questionnaire (SADUQ). SADUQ yielded a test-retest reliability coefficient of 0.8110. From the results, the study concluded that adolescents generally held negative views of users of alcohol, marijuana and nicotine (in cigarette and kolanut) but held positive views of users of caffeine, viewing its users as being academically serious minded. The study also indicated that, the need to stay alert for study would most likely influence the choice of the adolescents to taking to the usage of caffeine while peer pressure would be the strongest influencing factor to taking to the other three drugs.

Source: http://sanuadepoju.com.ng/file/journals/j2.pdf

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