Role of Social Media in Creating Drug Abuse Awareness Among Youths.

Topics: Twitter, Drug addiction, Drug abuse Pages: 13 (3472 words) Published: May 14, 2014
Abstract The study seeks to establish the general trend of the drug problem and critically analyse strategies used to address the problem; attempts to identify the role that twitter can play in creating awareness of the danger that drug abuse can bring to the society in general and within Nigerian campuses in particular. The findings of this study will aid in evaluating whether these strategies have the potential to help the government in curbing the drug problem among the youths, with a view to coming up with a more comprehensive Programme for addressing the problem in schools. Many university undergraduates in Nigeria who do not have access to internet via computer now do so through smart phones such as iPhones, BlackBerrys, pads, etc., have Twitter accounts and are active users. Drug abuse among the undergraduates has endangered their lives. This is causing a lot of concern, and it has been identified as a major cause of some of the problems experienced even in Nigerian secondary schools. Nigeria, with the other developing African countries, has been caught up with the indiscriminate use, abuse and dependence on drugs of various types. Within the university campuses, drug abuse is becoming an increasing problem.

INTRODUCTION

The history of the human race has also been the history of drug abuse. In itself, the use of drugs does not constitute an evil. Drugs, properly administered, have been a medical blessing. For example, herbs, roots, bark leaves and plants have been used to relieve pain and help control diseases. However, over the past few decades, the use of illegal drugs has spread at an unprecedented rate and has reached every part of the world. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report (2005), some 200 million people, or 5 percent of the total world’s population aged 15 - 64 have used drugs at least once in the last 12 months an implied 15 million people more than the 2004 estimate. The report goes on to say that, no nation has been immune to the devastating effects of drug abuse. According to the World Drug Report (2005), the use of illicit drugs has increased throughout the world in recent years. The report further states that a major world trend is the increasing availability of many kinds of drugs to an ever widening socio-economic spectrum of consumers. The report argues that the main problem of drugs at global level continue to be opiates (notably heroine) followed by cocaine. For example, for most of Europe and Asia, opiates continued to be the main problem drugs, accounting for 62 percent of all treatment in 2003. Reports from a total of 95 countries indicated that drug seizures increased four-fold in 2003, and more than half of these were from cannabis. A report released by the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) in 2004 estimated that 3.3 to 4.1 percent of the global population consumes drugs, but more worrisome is that according to the UNDCP executive director, those who are hooked are the younger generation. In Pakistan for example, it was reported that the share of those who started heroine use at 15 - 20 years has doubled to almost 24 percent of those surveyed. Every country in the world, developed or developing, incurs substantial costs as a result of damages caused by substance abuse (World Drug Report, 2005). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.1 billion people, representing a third of the world population above the age of 15 years, use tobacco, principally in the form of the cigarettes. Of these smokers, 800 million, 700 million of them males, live in developing countries (WHO, 2004). While smoking rates have been declining in the developed world, they have increased in the developing countries by as much as 50 percent, especially in Asia and in the Pacific region, over the last decade. Addiction to tobacco is...
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