By Dr Rosemary Ochanya Ogbodo-Adoga
Drug abuse is defined as the use of mood modifying substance in dosage many times in excess of those used medically and over lengths of time impacting negatively on individuals, society and family. In other words, it refers to the intemperance and persistence of self-administration and wrong use of drugs without regard to accepted medical practice. This paper therefore focuses on effects of drugs on adolescents and youths. It first and foremost reviews various concepts of drug abuse; it further highlights factors that give rise to this deviant behavior including peer group influence, experimentation, social acceptance factor, idleness, success in examination, self medication among others. Common used drugs such as amphetamines, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and heroin are x-rayed in this article. Some strategies for mitigating drug abuse are also highlighted. It is recommended that counsellor-parents–family–relationship, individual counselling, group counselling among other strategies should be deployed in solving drug abuse problems among the adolescents and youths in Nigeria. It is also recommended that collaboration between the school and home through take home work and interface should be adopted in checkmating this social problem.