Welcome to myschoollibrary! In today’s lesson, we will be looking at the world most common problem amongst youths. What is this problem? It is drug and substance abuse.
Subject: Social studies
Topic: Drugs And Substance Abuse
Learning Objectives: This lesson intends to teach learners the following:
- Meaning and classification of drugs,
- Meaning of drug and substance abuse,
- Forms of drug abuse,
- Consequences of drug abuse.
Meaning and Classification of Drugs.
A drug can be defined as any chemical substance that alters an individual’s physiological condition. It can be used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or cure of diseases. Drugs can be classified into Naturally occuring drugs and Synthetic drugs.
(a) Naturally Occuring Drugs: Naturally occuring drugs are those that are found in their natural state in the physical environment. They are mostly made from the roots, leaves, and barks of trees and other materials found in the physical and natural environment. These drugs are mainly used by indigenous local or traditional healers.
(b) Synthetic Drugs: Something is synthetic it it is produced by a chemical reaction, or it it is an imitation of something natural. Synthetic drugs are drugs made from chemical reactions and are not directly natural. Most of these drugs are manufactured in Europe, America and parts or Asia and imported into Nigeria.
They are widely used in hospitals and clinics and they include tablets, capsules, syrups and ointment.
Sources of Drug Supply and Drug Control Agencies
Drugs may be procured or obtained from various sources which include pharmaceutical industries, dispensaries, laboratories, clinics and hospitals.
People also obtain drugs from herbalist who specialise in the naturally occurring drugs. Other places include provision sellers, night clubs, itenerant sellers who hawk their drugs in open places such as markets, inside commercial vehicles etc. Such sources, which are illegal, easily aid the abuse or drugs by users.
The supply and distribution of drugs in Nigeria is controlled by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). This agency is in charge of ensuring that drugs and foods in Nigeria are fit for human consumption. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on the other hand, ensures that illegal use of paychotropif substances (also known as hard drugs) is eliminated from the Nigerian society.
Drug and Substance Abuse.
Meaning of Drug and Substance Abuse
Some people in Nigeria tend to take medication (drugs) without a doctor’s order of prescription. This form of drug use is not good. It is a form of drug or substance abuse. The person may end up taking the drug not meant for a particular ailment and this could lead to further problems.
Some individuals may retreat into a world that is not real as a result of the pressures that they feel. In doing this, they abuse drugs or what are known as psychotropic substances because they cause changes in the mind and perception. This is another form of substance or drug abuse. These drugs are sometimes called mind-altering drugs because they affect the way the mind works and leaves the drug user feeling things are fine when they are not. The drug user may drop out of school and not realise that he or she is taking a wrong decision that could endanger his or her economic well-being both in the present and in the future. Drugs that are abused in this way include; marijuana, heroin, cocaine and alcohol.
Some people specialise in drug trafficking, which means that they break the law by acting as couriers or carriers of dangerous drugs that they wish to sell to other people in other countries. This is an anti-soci practice that is against the law and common human aspirations. In Nigeria, there are tough laws against drug trafficking and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has been established to deal with offenders.
Forms of Drug Abuse.
There are various ways in which drugs are abused. One is by self-medication, as noted above. Drugs can also be abused by taking an overdose of such drugs. Another is by smoking, inhaling, sniffing or injecting dangerous substances into the blood or body system.
Consequences of Drug Abuse.
At the individual level, drug abuse may lead to changes in personality, a loss of interest in one’s career goals, insanity and even death. The individual may become an embarrassment to his or her family or friends and ultimately finds himself or herself isolated from even those that love him or her. Such a person may not readily find employment and he or she could end up in poverty.
At the level of the society, drug abuse increases the number of unemployed persons who could have contributed to the development of the country. Hence, there is a loss in national revenue. In addition, the need to obtain money by whatever means for the ‘next fix’ increases the rate of violent crimes in our cities, including bag snatching, armed robbery and assassination.
Done studying? Test your knowledge of the lesson with the following questions.
1. What do you understand by the term drug?
2. Drugs maybe classified into two. Name them
3. What do you understand by drug or substance abuse?
4. Mention the drug agencies of your country and describe the functions.
5. Mention two drug agencies in Nigeria and describe their functions.
5. What are some of the diverse consequences of drug abuse?
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