Public Administration Project Topics

Factors Associated With Substance Abuse Among Youths in Anambra East LGA Anambra State

Factors Associated With Substance Abuse Among Youths in Anambra East LGA Anambra State

Factors Associated With Substance Abuse Among Youths in Anambra East LGA Anambra State


Objectives Of Study

The main objective is to examine the elements influencing drug and substance misuse amongst the youths in Nigeria and make recommendations aimed at curbing the vise.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Identify the most abused drugs and substances in Anambra state.
  2. Determine contributing factors causing initial use and influencing drugs and substance abuse among the youths.
  3. Identify specific problems associated with drug and substance abuse amongst the youths and society as a whole.
  4. Identify community initiatives employed to fight drug and substance abuse.




This section involves a review of related literature on the factors that contribute to the culture of drugs and substance abuse among the youths in Nigeria, possible ways of correcting the situation and the gaps to be filled by the study.

Theoretical Framework

The study was built on the premise of the following two theoretical models namely the problem behavior and deviance theory, and the social learning theory.

(a) The problem behavior and deviance theory 

According to this theory, a dynamic state that forecasts which and when individuals are likely to change is generated by the connection among elements of demographic social structure, the supposed social environment and personality systems (Jessor & Jessor, 1978).

According to this theory, the pattern of social-psychological characteristics defining problembehavior proneness include “lower value on achievement and greater value on independence, greater socialization, more tolerance of deviance, and less parental control and support, more

friends’ influence, and more friends models and approval for drug use in the perceived environment system; more deviant behavior, less church attendance, lower school achievement in the behavior system” (Jessor 1976). As such, a high score on the above characteristics implies an earlier onset of a certain behavior.

(b) The Social learning theory 

The Social Learning Theory is founded on the premise that role models have a significant influence with regard to shaping adolescent perception of anti-social behavior. According to the theory, there are three consequential effects which define an adolescent’s association with substance-using models. The first consequential effect is the observation and copying substance specific behavior. The second consequential effect is encouragement and support which can otherwise be referred to as social reinforcement of Early Substance Use otherwise referred to as ESU. This culminates into the teenager’s affirmative social and psychological consequence for future ESU.

Once an individual adopts the unusual activities particular to certain aspects of the abnormal subculture generates admiration and acceptance. However, this only happens to a particular extent, that is, when a certain behavior goes contrary to the accepted norms of a membership group (Kaplan, 1975).

Causes of Drugs and Substance Abuse among the Youths

In the past twenty years, an unprecedented increase in the rate of drug abuse, both illegal and therapeutic drugs has threatened to derail societal advancement. The spike in the rate of drug abuse has been witnessed in almost every part of the globe. The drug scourge has not spared any country: drug and substance abuse is very much a challenge and a devastating problem.

Studies have revealed that drugs and substance misuse is influenced by a “complex, interacting network of sociological, psychological and biological variables” (Barnes, 1997; Campbell, 1983).





This section describes the research methodology, which was used in the study.  It describes the research design, the area of study, the study population, sample and sampling methods of data collection and analysis.

Area of Study

The study was carried out in all the four villages of Anambra East Local Government Area in Anambra state. Anambra East is a Local Government Area in Anambra State, south-central Nigeria. Towns that make up the local government are Aguleri, Enugwu Aguleri, Eziagulu Otu Aguleri, Enugwu Otu Aguleri, Mkpunando-otu Aguleri, Ikem Ivite Nando, Igbariam, Umuoba Anam, Nando, Umueri, Nsugbe. In Anambra East, oil and gas was found in large quantity on the bank of Aguleri town and the president has commissioned exploration on the site and the operational head office of Orient Petroleum and Housing estate is about to be sited in Aguleri by the Orient Petroleum Resources.

Research Design

The study implemented a triangulation design that combines both qualitative and quantitative research techniques and measures (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003).  This technique seemed to be suitable because it accorded the researcher the opportunity to investigate the factors influencing drugs and substance abuse among the youths.  Descriptive survey design allows for facts to be gathered as regards what presently exists about phenomena, without manipulating the variables (Moore, 1083).

Population and Sampling

The study focused on four villages in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra state.  The sublocation has four villages with a population of 6097 people and 2189 households. (Source: Nigeria National Bureau of statistics- Anambra state statistics office, 2012). The study targeted all the 2189 households, 120 participants each for youth and120 community members, one chief and one assistant chief.



 This section presents an outline of the findings on the research study.  The findings are based on the data which the researcher collected and analyzed from the study area.

Presentation of the Results

The data collected from respondents was classified, edited, coded and tabulated. Data breakdown based on search objectives and questions was analyzed using statistical tools such as charts, frequency distribution tables and graphs. The results of the analysis was further presented and classified into quantitative and qualitative analysis.




This research has extensively studied and examined the factors impact the rate of drug and substance abuse amongst the youths in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra state.  This section therefore gives a summary of the factors contributing to drug and substance abuse by enlisting conclusions, making needful recommendations for future use and problems encountered during the research.

The factors influencing drug and substance abuse were researched from three categories of respondents ie; Youths, community members and local national government administrators. The data collection instruments included questionnaires, interview schedule and direct observation.  Every questionnaire had at least 10 questions. It was assumed that the respondents gave actual information to the researcher.

Summary of the Study

The main purpose of this paper was to investigate the factors contributing to drug and substance abuse among the youths in Nigeria, a case study of Anambra East Local Government Area, Anambra state.  The specific objectives of the study were: To identify the most abused drugs and substances; to investigate the probable causes of drug and substance abuse; to identify the specific problems for drugs and substances abuse to youths and the community and to identify community initiatives to fight drug and substance abuse.

A descriptive survey design in which mixed methods (triangulation design) was used (Mugenda and Mugenda, 2003). The target population was 6097; being population of four villages of Anambra East Local Government Area out of which a sample size of 120 drug-affected youths and 120 community members representing each group were selected using both simple random sampling and stratified sampling techniques.  Data was collected using questionnaires and it was analyzed using descriptive statistics based on the four objectives of the study. A review of related literature was done in order to establish the basis of the study.

Most abused Drugs and Substances by Youths

The study established that drug and substance abuse is widespread in the focus area with the most abused drugs and substances being alcohol(46%), Opioid (35%),cannabis sativa (marijuana/weed) (25%), heroin(1%), cocaine (0%), others(30%), cigarette(24%) ,inhalant (glue, paint  and thinner) (10%). The methods in which individuals consume the drugs vary depending on the kind of drug being used. The most common methods of application include oral administration, intravenous injection, inhalation and smoking. Of the total one hundred and twenty respondents, more than half admitted to have used drugs at one point in their lives.

Probable Causes of Drug and Substance Abuse among the Youths

The study classified the factors into three group viz demographic factors, social cultural factors and economic factors.  On demographic factors, one’s occupation played a great role in influencing drug and substance abuse; followed by gender, level of education and age in that order.  In terms of gender, proportion of male abusing drugs is greater than females.

Social cultural factors contributing to drug abuse included peer pressure, motivation factors such as need to release stress, need to enjoy the potency of the drug and ease of accessibility of the drugs in the study area.  The study also revealed that parents have not built strong and positive relationship with their kids; they don’t talk about the substance abuse.  The parents also allow their children to engage in drug and substance peddling as long as they received something.  Also, as a result of being busy working they are unable to supervise their children.  Community also at large contributes towards this menace in that there is lack of community ownership in this area. This leaves the children with a gap to explore the use of drugs and substances.  In addition, there’s also unavailability of role model and those available exalts the use of alcohol and drug which make it “cool”.

The study also revealed that peer pressure plays a significant part in influencing drug and substance abuse in the focus region in comparison to other social cultural factors.

Economic factors contributing to drug and substance abuse included unemployment, poverty, and low cost of drugs. The study findings revealed that all the economic factors had a great significance as far as drug abuse is concerned in area with unemployment taking the lead.

Consequences of Drug and Substance Abuse 

The effects of drug and substance abuse as revealed by the study include high school dropout rates, drug addiction and dependency, greater than before rates of crime, mushrooming of illegal activities such as gambling in a bid to get quick cash. Furthermore, other effects which may not be as serious as the ones listed above include divorce and deviance. In addition to this, there have been documented cases of deaths as a result of drug abuse and drug related activities.

Community Initiatives to Fight Drug and Substance Abuse

One of the initiatives by the community is sensitizing the community members and the youths by educating them on negative effects of drug and substance abuse.  Other initiatives include: Church campaigns against drug and substance abuse, Prosecution of those involved in using and peddling drugs, creating activities to keep the youths busy and identification and elimination of the sources and distribution channels of drugs and substances abused to mention a few.


The study concludes that drug and substance abuse is a major problem which cannot be wished away. It has serious social, political, economic, medical and legal ramifications. Ignoring it is like sitting on a time bomb as it mostly affect youths who are referred to as leaders of tomorrow in the country. The clarion of the government of Nigeria is “A working Nation” but this will remain a pipe dream for as long as the youth are “working on drugs”. Drug abuse not only affects the individual but the whole family often resulting in domestic violence and neglect.

Owing to this, there is need to sensitize the community and youths by educating them on the negative effects of drug and substance abuse in order to raise their awareness.  

The law enforcement officers alone cannot succeed in the fight against drug and substance abuse alone.  It requires concerted efforts by parents, community and other stakeholders to impart virtues, interests and goals of the society to youths.


Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommended the following:

  1. There is need for parents to built strong and positive relationship with their children and educate them on the dangers of drugs.
  2. There is need for creating awareness on the importance of creating stable families for proper upbringing of children.
  3. The government should impose ban on importation of harmful drugs and substances such as Kuber and shisha into the country
  4. There is need to promote peer-counseling groups at village level and in various social forums.
  5. There is need for creating more employment opportunities for youths so that they could be idle and engage in drug and substance abuse.
  6. There is need for establishment of accessible and affordable rehabilitation and rescue centers, equipped with qualified personnel and facilities at sub-county level to give medical care to those already addicted to drugs.
  7. There is need to promote recreational activities (games, sports and cultural activities) to keep the youths occupied to avoid taking drugs and substances.

Suggestions for Further Research

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher suggests that further research should be conducted to investigate factors that may have significant influence on drug and substance abuse on other forms of drugs and substances abused by youths. A similar study should be replicated in other Sub-Counties in Nigeria.


While conducting the study, the researcher encountered several challenges which included the following:

  • Some of the respondents could not give actual information on hard drugs for fear of legal implications surrounding them.
  • There was limited response due to language barrier as some of the respondents were semi-literate
  • Time allocated for data collection, compiling and production of the report was too short given that the area of coverage was wide.


That notwithstanding, the researcher took the following measures to overcome the same

  • Researcher relied on translators to interview semi-literate respondents
  • Due to limitation of funds, the researcher focused on a few sampled areas as a cost cutting measure.
  • The researcher assured the respondents of confidentiality, anonymity and their rights on information shared about hard drugs.


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