Effect of young people psychoactive substance abuse on socioeconomic development in Nigeria
The use of psychoactive substances by young people has long been of scientific, political and public concern. Over the years, many writers have given various opinions about psychoactive substance, its uses and abuse. Similarly researchers from various academic backgrounds such as medicine, pharmacy, and other related social sciences have contributed to issues related to psychoactive substance uses, effects, and consequences. However, in their attempt to check and proffer solutions, their efforts have really defied any cure. The story is the same over the whole world, and not different from the Nigerian experience.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), psychoactive substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome which is a continuous, repeated and persistent use of the substance despite its harmful consequences; leading to a high priority being given to the use of the substance to the deterrent of other activities and obligations (WHO, 2014).
According to World Drug Report (2014), the prevalence rate of problem of substance abuse users varies between 2.7% in Greece and 9.0% in UK as rate per 1,000 of populations aged 15-64 years in Europe. The United Kingdom, Italy and Spain are on the higher end of the range, whereas Greece, Germany and Hungary are countries with low rates problems of substance abuse. In the United States, 7 million people (2.8% of the population) aged 12 and older were considered psychoactive substance dependent, abusing illicit substances. Cannabis was the illicit substance with the highest rate of dependence, followed by pain relievers (opioids) and cocaine. In Canada, 2.7% of the population aged 15 and older were reported to have experienced at least one type of physical, social, employment or legal problem due to illicit drug use (United Nations office on Drugs and Crime, 2014).
Generally, psychoactive substances are helpful when they are properly used and destructive when they are misused or abused, but majority of the young are guilty of substance abuse (Mohammad, 2014). The use of illicit substances is a major public health problem in high income countries like the US. However, this problem of illicit substance use has spread rapidly to include middle and low income countries where most of its young adults and adolescents are actively engaged in this illegal practice (Aliyu, 2014; Mohammad, 2014).
The problem is worse in African countries, as the use of these substances is accompanied with a lot of risk behaviors such as crime, violence and suicide (Nsimba, 2010). For cocaine and heroin drug injectors, often have high chances of contracting infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, abscesses and other ill-health problems, such as drug dependence, which manifests with complex set of behaviors related to mental illnesses. Psychoactive substance abuse is a problem to users, when it begins to cause some damage to their physical health, mental health and social well-being. These damages come in the form of mental illness, crime, violence and diseases e.g. HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis, which are related to the use of these substances (Nsimba, 2010). The amount of harm associated with the use of these substances, is increasing in Nigeria and other middle and low income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; as well as high income countries like the US (Aliyu, 2014).
The use of psychoactive substances has evolved through various stages in human historical development, since humans have been consuming varieties of drugs from the crude stage to their sophisticated stage for different reasons which can either be positive as; maintenance of good health, disease management, alleviation of suffering and pains. Or negative such as to boost self-confidence, to cope with stress, anxiety, to get high (euphoria) (Dankani, 2012).
Psychoactive substance abuse has been of major concern to the government, the academia, and the society at large. This has actually constituted a great effect on the socioeconomic development of individuals, family, the community and the state (Paul, 2017). Socio-economic development therefore, is the improvement in the capacity of the people with emphasis on the youth, and their society to control, and manipulate their physical environment, as well as themselves for their own positive benefits and that of mankind entirely. A society predominantly made up of young persons who indulge in psychoactive substance abuse cannot be regarded as a healthy and a developed one, since the abusers lose their potentialities to this activity. Hence the aim of this review is to discuss the effect of young people psychoactive substance abuse on socioeconomic development in Nigeria.
1.1 SIGNIFICANCE OF REVIEW
Nigeria is presently going through a surge of young people psychoactive substance abuse. The psychoactive substances commonly involved are tramadol and codeine to be specific (Lolu, 2018). The use of these substances has caused more harm than good, rendering majority of the users (young people) less productive and inefficient in carrying out simple task that they easily would carry out without the use of these substances. This in turn has affected both the productivity and development of the individual and the nation. Psychoactive substance abuse has been of major concern to the government, the academia and the society at large. This has actually constituted a great effect on the socioeconomic development on individual and community (Paul, 2017). Hence the aim of this review is to discuss the effect of young people psychoactive substance abuse on socioeconomic development in Nigeria. This review will contribute to the dialogue on psychoactive substance abuse in Nigeria in view of the massive abuse of psychoactive substances. The review will be relevant to Drug regulatory agencies such as the National Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Doctor, Nurses, Psychiatric hospital, Government and all stakeholders, particularly in their decision making processes. Similarly, it will serve as reference material for researchers and students interested in the issue of substance abuse in Nigeria. It is the contention of this review that a healthy, responsible and drug free generation is the recipe for cultural and socio-economic development of any society.
1.2 SCOPE OF REVIEW
This review will belimited to articles and publications related to effect of young people psychoactive substance abuse on socioeconomic development in Nigeria. The review will also be limited to articles related to causes/pattern of psychoactive substance abuse by young people in Nigeria. The review will also consider article/journals done outside Nigeria to provide a ground for comparison.
1.3 PURPOSE OF REVIEW
The aim of this review is to discuss the effect of young people psychoactive substance abuse on socioeconomic development in Nigeria
The Specific Objectives are to:
• Discuss and document on the Causes of Psychoactive substance use by young people in Nigeria
• Establish the Pattern of Psychoactive Use/Abuse among young people in Nigeria.
Identify the psychoactive substance(s) commonly
used among young people