I. Introduction”Drugabuse is one of the top problems confronting the nation today especially amongthe youth” (Chesang, 2013, p.
126). In today’s society, more and more youngpeople are in the habit of using drugs. Tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs haveprevalently been utilized among adolescents and young adults in recent years(Das et al. 2016).
The National Institute on Drug abuse (2014) estimated thatmore than 20% of students in high school have experienced a prescription drugfor nonmedical purpose and Abdullahi, Deribe & Kura (2014) stated that over55% of case of drug is being abused, with many reasons given for this. Hence,as reported by Chesang (2013), they are considered to be the causes of drugabuse among youngsters, which are stress of problems in school and life, lackof parental support or peer and social influence. Unfortunately, young peopleas those age 16-30 are most affected by abusing drug, which is associated withmany risks of mental and physical health problems, behavior problems andinternational relationship (Marshall, 2014). Thus, this paper is aimed atraising awareness about drug abuse, including causes and effects, as well aspurposing measures that can be taken to control drug abuse among youth.II. Discussion of findings1. Background information aboutdrug abuse Mostof the drugs and other chemical substances are helpful for people to maintainnormal health when used properly.
Unfortunately, the misuse of drugs includingboth legal and illegal, as well as alcohol and tobacco is a growing problemamong young people worldwide (Somani & Meghani, 2016). According to TheWorld Health Organization (WHO, n.d.), drug abuse is defined as a substancethat is considered abusive if it is used intentionally and incapable ofcontrolling substance use to cause physiological or psychological effects orboth for purposes other than therapies. The use contributed to health risks orsome combinations of these.Shockingstatistics have been published to show clearly how prevalent drug abuse is.
TheUnited Nation Drug Control Programme in a 1998 report (cited in Njeri , 2014) stated that about 60% students abuse substances. Marshall (2014)conducted that 79% of adolescents used alcohol and 57% of those drinkfrequently. In Mauritius, 76% of people aged 15-29 years have been involved indrug abuse and 10,9% of those injected drugs (Rambaree, Mousavi & Ahmadi,2017). Meanwhile, in an article by Somani & Meghani (2016), there were over90,000 case of drug abuse in Central Asia while the number of deaths due todrug abuse was 1700 people in the United Stated in 2012. Consequently, theOffice of National Drug Control Policy’s prescription drug abuse preventioncampaign was established in 2008 due to the increase in the illegal drug usecases among youth (Fleary, Heffer & McKyer, 2013).Thereare many factors that contribute to youngsters’ abuse of drug consist ofgenetic and environmental factors (Marshall, 2014). First of all, friend andfamily are considered to be environment factors which have the most impact onyouth’s behavior as evidenced from a Kenyan study (Njeri & Ngesu, 2014).
Chesang (2013) noted that a friend or peer group can be a sour of informationand entice adolescents to involve in illegal drugs and it accounts for 42% ofall factors. In addition, it was 75% of youths being referred to drugs byfriends in Kenya in 2009 (Somani & Meghani, 2016). Meanwhile, in the samearticle, Somani & Meghani (2016) reported lack of parental care can leadhigh risk to misuse drug among teens, which constitutes a hefty 58%.
The secondfactor which is genetic include externalizing problems in youth. According toOwae (2016), a stage of transition from childhood to adulthood is adevelopmental period which is easy for young people to stress or depress becauseof problems in school and life. Prakask et al.
(2015) conducted that stress andhabit contribute 13% and 50% respectively of impact on youth. Finally, all ofthese have led them to abuse drugs.2. The effects of drug abuseWeall recognize the serious consequences of drug abuse, no matter where they takeplace.
In some cases of drug abuse, they can cause short-term effects orlong-term effect of drugs (The National Institute on Drug abuse, 2014).Short-term effects which depend on the dosage used after just one use can rangefrom changes in appetite, wakefulness, heart rate, blood pressure, and/or moodto heart attack, stroke, psychosis, overdose, and even death while long-termeffects can include heart or lung disease, cancer, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis,and others (The National Institute on Drug abuse & the effects of drugabuse n.d.).Furthermore, researches have shown that abusing drugs can affectthe body in many different way associated with disastrous consequences ofphysical and mental health problems or antisocial behaviors (The effects ofdrug abuse n.d.
). Thefirst and direct impacts of drug abuse are health problems. According toEffects of drug abuse and addition (n.d.), drug abuse can weaken the immunesystem while increasing susceptibility to infection. Concurrently, it causesvarious heart diseases, ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attack, liverdiseases and cancer (Hagell, 2013). Alcohol directly attacks the liver cellsand can be permanently contracted and hardened, which is called cirrhosis, canreduce the liver’s ability to metabolize fat, commonly called alcoholichepatitis. Also it is the cause of gastritis (Drug Addiction Health Effects,2017).
Moreover, drug injection is rooted in epidemics such as HIV, hepatitis Band C, lung cancer and brain disorder (Somani & Meghani, 2016).However,drug abuse not only affects the physical health but also mental health. Asreported by Chesang (2013), long-term use of alcohol and use of drugs can leadto mental disorders hallucinations and long-term dementia, even death due toalcohol poisoning. Besides, there is also an increased risk of developingdepression, psychosis, paranoia, anxiety, aggression and other problems (DrugAddiction Health Effects, 2017).Inaddition, drug abuse can exert drastic effect on youngsters’ behavior.
According to the Salt Lake Country Division of Substance Abuse in the UnitedStates (cited in Somani & Meghani 2016), there is a direct correlationbetween substance abuse and various aggressive and criminal activitiesassociated with 45% of rapes, 51% of assaults, 70% of teen suicides, 51% oftheft. Meanwhile, in an article by Chesang (2013), most drug users are likelyto drop out of school, which lead to a decrease in academic achievement. Healso emphasized that drug abuse affects their relation with family members andfriends. 3. Solution to drug abuseAppropriatemeasures are a good strategy to help prevent the use and abuse of young adultsand adolescents as results from NIDA-funded research (cited in Abdullahi,Deribe & Kura 2014). In addition, the project STAR (Students TaughtAwareness and Resistance) in United States proved that intervention in media,school, family, and policy change are effective in reducing drug abuse (Somani& Meghani 2016).
Accordingto “Risk factor and strategies for preventing alcohol abuse among young adultswith a family history of substance abuse” (2014), education and skill-trainingare considered to be an important factor in orientating children andadolescents with the knowledge and understand about the dangers of drug use toavoid it. Chesang (2013) stated schools should have courses on prevention ofdrug use which need cooperation of parents, school boards, law enforcementofficers, treatment organizations and non-governmental organizations. He alsoemphasized the government should train teachers to lead students effectivelywhich is also point of view of Somani& Meghani (2016). Meanwhile, in an article by Njeri & Ngesu (2014),teachers need to communicate and interact effectively with students andparticipate in mentoring sessions. They also said that teachers also need topromote positive relationship between students and their families. Besides,students should encourage other students to fight drugs and persuade those whouse them to seek help (Chesang 2013).Additionally,media also plays a huge role in demonstrating dangers of drug abuse, as well aspromoting preventions of drug use. This can be done by marketing through TV,newspapers, magazines or conferences (Somani & Meghani 2016).
Lastbut not least, changing policy is a critical issue that focuses on policychanges in schools, communities and in the city and country to reduce access todrugs, and increase support for the programme as evidenced from a recent study(Somani & Meghani 2016). According to by Njeri & Ngesu (2014), policymakers should provide information about drug abuse to parents and train schoolsand teachers with aim at managing students as a way to address drug abuse case.Furthermore, in order to reduce the rate of drug use among youth, they shouldprovide job opportunities appropriately for worker who do not have stablecareer. These is a step to help prevent from abusing drug among young people.III.
ConclusionOvera relatively short period of time, drug abuse has emerged and evolved into analarming problem in many parts in the world, increasing in both popularity andseriousness. It is important that young people be adequately informed about thedanger of abusing drug and proper measures be taken to prevent the problem.Obviously, those measure will be take time and a lot of efforts from thesociety; however, it would bring a better life and future for youth.