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Psychosocial Factors of Addiction



Psychosocial factors of addiction
Psychoactive drugs adapted from Wikipedia

Among Adolescents and University Students of our time

ABSTRACTResearchBlogging.org
This study investigated the psychosocial factors influencing substance abuse among undergraduates. The study was conducted in Ekiti State university Ado Ekiti. 150 participants who are undergraduates of the university were used in this research. They consist of 82 males and 68 females selected from all faculties in the institution. 3 questionnaires were administered to respondent to measure the factors influencing substance abuse and the level at which they are abused. Independent T-test, multiple regression and Pearson Correlation method were used to analyze the data collected. Five hypotheses were tested: hypothesis 1, 2, 3 and 4 were significant while hypothesis 5 was insignificant.
 It was observed that there was significant influence of religiosity on substance abuse among undergraduates, the result also revealed that there was  a significant influence of self-esteem on substance abuse among undergraduates, it also revealed that religiosity and self-esteem jointly predicted substance abuse among undergraduates, likewise the result also show that there was significant influence of sex on substance abuse among undergraduates and finally the result revealed there was no significant relationship between religiosity and self-esteem among undergraduates.            The results were discussed in line with relevant empirical literatures, while conclusion and recommendations subsequently followed.

INTRODUCTION: Substance abuse is an act of consuming Substance/drug in a wrong manner, such that it distorts the physical and psychological functioning of the abuser .Drug could also be abused when it is not pharmacologically necessary and when it is used in the face of legal prohibition.According to Abdullahi (2005),substance/drug abuse has been subjected to different definitions and interpretations by different people from different perspectives. This accounts for multiplicity of meanings given to it in the literature. For the purpose of this research, the researcher sees substance abuse as the use of any substance for the purposes other than that for which it is normally prescribed or recommended by a medical practitioner or agency. It has been observed that majority of substance abuse start during the adolescence stage, especially so far the ‘gateway’ drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, this brought the need to check this bad practice in the universities campuses. 
Alcohol and cigarettes are described as ‘gateway’ because they are usually, the first substances that are used before other drugs are tried out (Indian Preventive Resource Centre, 2003). According to Okaza and Aluede (2009) substance abuse by students can lead to sharp decline in student’s academic performance, increase reports of truancy and expulsion from school. It can also lead to addiction (increased desire for drugs without which normal life processes is disturbed), and increased appetite and libido. Social vices such as stealing, fighting and raping may also be caused by substance abuse as a result of alteration in the brain chemistry of the abusers. Continued abuse of substance over a prolonged period of time often leads to drug tolerance and physiological reaction in which the body requires larger doses in order to experience the same effects (Baron and Kalsher, 2008). Patterns of substance abuse may vary greatly around the world and overtime. In the United States, the use of many conscious-altering substance increased in the 1990s (Baron and Kalsher). According to Ekey (1997) and Fatoye and Morakinyo (1997), the abuse of substance became very rampant in Nigeria in the 1990s. This shows that from 1990s to date, there is increased in drugThe current trend of substance abuse among youth is a major national concern, it is troubling, it has derogatory effects on youth such as health and behavioral problems, or even death. Falco (1988); as cited by Sambo(2008) viewed that “chronic use of substance can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescents’ physical and psychological development. Therefore, the issue of substance abuse has become aworrisome phenomenon, because youth are dying morally, socially, psychologically and physically. Currently, drugs ranging from alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin to hashish and many others are readily available to youth in Nigeria and this has made many youths to be perpetrators of social vices in the society.Mersy (2003) described substance abuse as problematic use of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit and /or prescription drugs and it has been referred to as nation’s number one health problem. While, David, Derald & Stanley (1990) refers to substance abuse as a pathological pattern or excessive use, in take of a substance even though it may be causing physical damage, jeopardizing safety (such as driving a car while intoxicated) or impairing social relationships and occupational functioning. Need for substance may lead to a pre-occupation with its acquisition and use.Substance abuse may reduce undergraduate chances of graduating from school or of landing and holding a steady job, it may also be causing student unrest in the campus which will disturb academic calendar and this may also lead to poor academic performance. According to Hawkins, Cataland and Miller (1992) a low level of commitment to education and higher truancy rates appear to be related to substance use among adolescent. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1992) posited that cognitive and behavioral problems experienced by alcohol and drug-using youth may interfere with their academic performance and also present obstacles to learning for their classmates.Substance abuse is common among undergraduate students; many of them abuse substance such as drug alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug among youth, and it causes serious and potentially life threatening problems for this population. Eke Jumba (1991) notes that alcohol is the most abused substance in Nigerian campuses. Denga in Piwana and Haggai (2007) points out that alcohol has become a recreational past time with students, to the extent that students have found a new religion in which drinking alcohol is the major sacrament. This refers to the Kegites” Fraternity. The findings of Piwana and Haggai (2007) also revealed that the drugs commonly used at cult meetings include first and foremost alcohol and tobacco; all cult groups abuse these two drugs regularly.Self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it. Self-esteem reflects a person's overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.     Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent", "I am worthy") and emotions suchastriumph,despair,pride, and shame.self-esteem talks about the beliefs you have about yourself – what you think about the type of person you are, your abilities, the positive and negative things about you and what you expect for your future. If you have healthy self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will generally be positive. You may experience difficult times in your life, but you will generally be able to deal with these without them having too much of a long-term negative impact on you. If you have low self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will often be negative. You will tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made, and may find it hard to recognise the positive parts of your personality. You may also blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have.

Self-Esteem and Substance Use
In Glindemann, Geller and Fortney (1999), researchers proposed that low self-esteem might be a motivator for a high consumption of alcohol among emerging adults. As mentioned before, self-esteem has been commonly defined as the extent to which one has favorable or unfavorable self-evaluations. One study by Parish and Parish (1991), concluded that people with low self-esteem are much more likely to consume alcohol as a way to try to gain some degree of peer support and acceptance. Also low self-esteem influences the use of alcohol because alcohol provides rationalization for bad performance or improves positive feelings of self-worth. In Chen, Dufour& Yi (2004-05) it was found that drinking more than the recommended per occasion maximum (in college students) was likely to impair mental performance and might help explain increased negative consequences such as poor self-worth. It has been reported that individuals may be using alcohol to cope with tension or anxiety because they believe that alcohol can produce an effect of relaxation and a decrease in anxiety, and this belief is especially held a for people with low self-esteem (Pullen, 1994). Also substance use seems to escalate when young adults have low self-esteem and can’t cope with stress in amore positive manner.Religiosity deals more with how religious a person is, and less with how a person is religious (in practicing certainrituals, retelling certain stories, revering certain symbols, or accepting certain doctrines about deities and afterlife). The terms religiousness/religiosity are used interchangeably but often defined as an individual’s conviction, devotion, and veneration towards a divinity. However, in its most comprehensive use, religiosity can encapsulate all dimensions of religion, yet the concept can also be used in a narrow sense to denote an extreme view and over dedication to religious rituals and traditions. This rigid form of religiosity in essence is often viewed as a negative side of the religious experience, it can be typified by an over involvement in religious practices which are deemed to be beyond the social norms of one’s faith.

Religiosity and Substance Abuse
Pioneering the research into the religiosity.....
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Reference:

Botzet, A., Winters, K., & Stinchfield, R. (2006). Gender Differences in Measuring Adolescent Drug Abuse and Related Psychosocial Factors Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 16 (1), 91-108 DOI: 10.1300/J029v16n01_07

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