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Public Perception of Drug Addiction and its Socio-Economic Implications in Nigeria

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Public Perception of Drug Addiction and its Socio-Economic Implications in Nigeria.


This study was aimed at investigating the perception of the general public on the socio-economic implications of drug addiction in Nigeria.

The study was conducted in Enugu urban and a sample of six hundred (600) respondents aged 18 years and above resident in Enugu urban were selected through simple random sampling.

Structured questionnaires developed by the researcher were administrated to the respondents by six research assistants.

In addition in depth interviews were conducted with nine officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Psychiatric hospital Enugu and Nigerian Prison Services; three were drawn from  each organization.

Also five (5) drug addicts each undergoing treatment/debilitation in NDLEA and psychiatric hospital Enugu and five convicted drug offers in Enugu prison were interviewed

The information obtained from the questionnaires was analyzed using percentage (%) while chi-square (X2) was adapted in testing the hypotheses.

The major findings of the study include: that the rate of consumption of illicit drugs is high in Nigeria; that alcohol and Indian herm ranked highest among the illicit drugs consumed.

The study also found that drug use is dominated by males especially youth of productive ages.  It was discovered that illicit drug use has severe negative socio-economic implications in Nigeria.

Similarly, the study revealed that the major predisposing factor to drug use is peer influence; and that majority of the drug users sourced them from drug dealers.

Finally, the study discovered that government has not done much in curbing drug consumption trend in Nigeria.

Table Of Contents

Title Page  i

Certification   ii

Approval page  iii

Dedication  iv


Table of Content  vi

Abstract  viii


  • Background to Study 1
  • Statement of  Problem 4
  • Research Questions 8
  • Objectives of Study 8
  • Significance of Study 9
  • Definition of Concepts 10


  • Trends in Drug Addiction 14
  • Impact of Drug Addiction 19 2.3 Causes of Drug Use and Addiction                                                                            28
  • Review of Related Sociological Theories 30
  • Theoretical Framework 36
  • Study Hypotheses 37


  • Research Design 38
  • The Area and Scope of Study 38
  • Study Population 39
  • Sample Size 39
  • Sampling Method 40
  • Instrument for Data Collection 41
  • Methods of Data Collection 41
  • Methods of Data Analysis 42


  • Introduction 43
  • Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Respondents 44
  • Section B: Public Perception of Drug Addiction 48
    • Perception of general Public on Drug use and predisposing factors 48
    • Perception of the General Public on socio-economic Implication of Drug Addiction 53
  • Perception of the Public on how to curb drug use in Nigeria  58
  • Test Hypothesis 60 4.5 Qualitative Analysis of the Interview    63
    • Analysis of Interview with the Officials of NDLEA, Psychiatric Hospital and Prisons officials Enugu 63
  • Analysis of Interview with drug Addicts and Convicted Prisoners 65


  • Discussion and Summary of the Major Findings  71
  • Recommendations 72

5.3 Suggested topic for further Research              73

5.4    Limitations  74

References    75

Appendix      82


Background Of Study

According to Wikler (1961:78), drug addiction, “is the overwhelming involvement with use of drug, getting an adequate supply of it and a strong tendency to resume use of it after stopping for a period”.

Also the Encyclopedia of the Social  Science (Vol.9, 2000: 143) captured drug addiction as “behaviourial pattern of compulsive drug use characterized by an overwhelming involvement with procurement and use of the drug and the high tendency of the user to relapse to drug use after a period of abstinence”.

Consumption of psychoactive substances is an age- long phenomenon. In all known history and culture, psychoactive substances like alcohol, kola-nut and cannabis etc have been in use for several reasons- energizer, elevation of mood, reduction of hunger, stress, and anxiety.(James, 1999: 67, Reids, 2006: 347).

The use of psychoactive substances like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc initially was perceived as normal especially when used moderately for medication and in social settings.

In America, Asia and Europe, these substances were used for energizer and food; for instance in San Francisco, Thio (2003: 289) documented the wide use of cannabis by Chinos labourers for prolonged farming activity in their plantation.

Similarly in Peru, Boliva and France, there were extensive use of opium, cocaine, cannabis etc for treatment of several ailment like stomach disorder, headache, fatigue body pain and above all to wade off hunger (Mamman, 1993.).


Achema, J. (2003). Drug Abuse and Trafficking Trend in Nigeria, Drug Salvation Force, 1st Quarter.

Adelekan, M. L. & Adeniran, R.A. (1988). Psychosocial and clinical profile of hospital- managed drug abusers in Nigeria: Nigerian medical journal, vol. 8 No 4, 461-468.

Adelekan, M.C, & Rahman.(2006). Drug use and HIV infection in Nigeria: A review of recent findings, African journal of drug and alcohol studies, vol 5 , No 2, CRISA Publications.

Adeniyi, A. (1994). Morally Handicapped, African Concord, May 2, 1994.

Adler, F. , Mueller, G. O, & Lanfer W.S. (1998). Criminology, (3rd ed.) Boston: McGraw Hill.

Ahmed, M. H. (1986). Drug  Abuse  as  seen  in  the  University;  Department  of  Psychiatry, Kaduna Nigeria in 1980, Acta Psychiatrca Scandinavia, Vol. 74, No1, 98-101.

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