The Prevalence of Drug Abuse and Its Relationship to Academic Motivation among Secondary School Students in Lagos Metropolis

Author: Oke, Labode

Supervisor: Babalola B. A.

The literature shows that many studies on the problem of drug abuse have not only been carried out among Nigerian Secondary school students but also among undergraduates in Nigeria Universities. Such studies, however, focused mainly on the magnitude or the epidemiological nature of the problem and paid little attention to the relationship between drug abuse and students' learning. The present study investigated the prevalence of drug abuse and its relationship to academic motivation among secondary school students. Two hundred and five (N = 205) adolescent students comprising one hundred and thirteen boys and ninety two girls in forms four and five from three randomly selected secondary schools within the metropolitan city of Lagos acted as subjects. Two of the schools were single-sexed and one coeducational. The mean age of the respondent is sixteen years. Nine null hypotheses investigated were rejected since the chi-square (X2) analysis yielded significant results. Findings highlighted in the study include: a. Drug abuse is widespread among adolescents in secondary schools as 34.1% of the respondents were found to be steady smokers while 30.2% used other psychoactive drugs such as traquilizers, amphetamines and depressants; b. A significant relationship was found between drug abuse and academic motivation as smokers and drug users alike were more alienated and more anxious than their counterparts who were neither smokers nor drug-users; besiders, the academic achievements of adolescent drug users were found to be poorer than those of non-drug users; c. Factors found to contribute to the onset of drug abuse or maximise its use included the type of school, age, sex, broken home and the smoking or drug habits of parents. Cigarettes and indian hemp were two substances smoked by the students but they had preference for the former and alcohol topped the list of other drugs used by them. To study better in other to perform well in examinations is one of the major reasons of adolescents for abusing drugs but their poor examination results negated this. Based upon the present findings, implications of research were discussed and strategies which could mitigate, if not removed completely, the problem of drug abuse not only among adolescents in schools but also in the Nigerian society were also highlighted. Due to limitation posed by the research design, it was recommended that further research which may explain the relationship between drug abuse and other personality variables be conducted.