Drug Abuse in Africa

Topics: Drug addiction, Africa, Drug Pages: 13 (4718 words) Published: June 6, 2013
Drug abuse in Africa
Sections
ABSTRACT
Introduction
Historical background
Current drug abuse situation in Africa
Effects of drug abuse in Africa
Control mechanisms
Future trends
Details
Author: T. ASUNI , A. O PELA
Pages: 55 to 64
Creation Date: 1986/01/01
Drug abuse in Africa
T. ASUNI Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria A. O PELA Clinical Pharmacy Unit, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria ABSTRACT
Apart from cannabis abuse in northern and southern Africa and khat chewing in north-eastern Africa, the history of drug abuse in Africa is relatively short. The abuse of drugs in Africa is nevertheless escalating rapidly from cannabis abuse to the more dangerous drugs and from limited groups of drug users to a wider range of people abusing drugs. The most common and available drug of abuse is still cannabis, which is known to be a contributing factor to the occurrence of a schizophrenic-like psychosis. The trafficking in and abuse of cocaine and heroin are the most recent developments in some African countries that had had no previous experience with these drugs. Efforts should be made to design and implement drug abuse assessment programmes to determine the real magnitude and characteristics of the problem and to monitor its trends. A lack of funds and a shortage of adequately trained personnel have made it difficult to implement drug abuse control programmes. In addition to formal drug control involving the implementation of legislation, there is an informal system of drug abuse control operating through the family, church, school, neighbourhood and work environment, as well as healthy recreational activities. It is suggested that efforts in African countries should be directed towards strengthening not only the formal drug control system but also informal control in order to compensate for the insufficient funds and the shortage of personnel trained in implementing formal drug control measures. It is very likely that the drug problems in African countries will worsen in future unless more effective measures are implemented to arrest the current situation. Introduction

Drug abuse is defined as "... excessive or inappropriate use of a [psycho-active] substance by a person ; such use being considered or judged to be illegal (immoral) by the culture and resulting in harm to the person or society" [ 1] . In defining the phenomenon , therefore , the key determinant is the perception of society of what constitutes drug abuse. It may be stated in general terms that the socio-cultural values and standards relating to drug abuse in Africa have been weakened by the influence of international developments relating to drug abuse , which have given rise to the change in what society considers abuse. Historical background

The irresponsible use of drugs and alcohol by college students has always been an issue for university campuses, but the problem has become more and more frequent and has grown in familiarity with every passing generation. In past years, the problem has not only multiplied in frequency, but has also grown in danger. Now students are abusing not only recreational drugs like Marijuana and Cocaine, but also prescription drugs like Ritalin and others like it such as Adderall. "As many as 20 percent of college students have used Ritalin or Adderall to study, write papers, and take exams..." (Jacobs 2). Medications like Ritalin are used to provide energy and concentration when a person cannot achieve them through regular means. Students take medication like Ritalin to help them deal with loss of sleep so they can stay up all night to cram and still do well in class. Students are now using similar medications like Adderall that are released over long periods of time so they can keep an energy high throughout an entire day instead of just one or two class periods. On some campuses, if you’re not using Ritalin or Adderall, you are...

References: 11
Press, 1957).
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