PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF DRUG ADDICTION AND ITS SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS IN NIGERIA- A STUDY OF ENUGU URBAN
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. The study made some recommendation in the area of repositioning the NDLEA, inclusion of drug education in educational curriculum and creation of job opportunities in the country to stem down drug consumption in Nigeria.