The purpose of the study was to determine the demographic characteristics of out-of-school adolescent substance abusers in Aba South L.G.A, Abia State. To achieve this purpose, eight research questions were formulated and null hypotheses postulated and tested for significance of .05 level. Quantitative data were collected from 343 out-of-school adolescent substance abusers. The data collected were analyzed using frequency distribution percentages and means to answer the research questions while chi-square, ANOVA and t-Test was used to test the hypotheses. Results of the study revealed that majority of out-of-school adolescents took panadol, beer, coffee and one-third indicated they took white gin, cigarette, cocaine, heron, snoff, opion, glue and paint. Out-of-school adolescents abused substance to some extent (= 2.0). Also, results indicated that majority of male out-of-school adolescents consumed substance more than their female counterparts. The adolescents with no formal education, primary and secondary education consumed substance more than the adolescents with tertiary education. Furthermore, the result showed that prevalence of substance abuse was higher in out-of-school adolescent conductors, drivers and hawkers than in adolescent apprentices, traders and civil servants respectively. In reference to differentials in substance abuse of out-of-school adolescents no significant difference was found based on occupation. However, a significant difference was found in substance abuse of out- of-school adolescents based on gender, age, educational level and religion affiliation. Based on the findings, conclusions were drawn and it was recommended among others that parents and health educators should work in collaboration with the ministries of health and education to educate the children and adolescents about drug use, abuse and its effects.

Title page
Table of Contents
List of Tables

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Significant of the Study
Scope of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature
Conceptual Framework
Substance abuse
Demographic characteristics
Theoretical framework
Empirical Studies
Summary of Literature Review

Research Design
Area of the Study
Population for the Study
Sample and Sample Techniques
Instrument for data Collection
•           Validity of the instrument
•           Reliability of the instrument
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: Result and Discussion
Results of the Findings
Summary of the Findings
Discussion of the Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Limitation of the Study

Background to the study
Since the early times, leaves and plants have been used to heal and control diseases. The use of drugs does not constitute any danger, because drugs correctly administered have been a blessing. Sambo (2008) viewed that “chronic use of substance can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescent’s physical and psychological development. The use of substance could be beneficial or harmful depending on the mode of use.

Substance as applied in drug use refers to drug that could bring about a change in the biological function through its actions (Okoye, 2001). It is considered as a chemical that modifies perceptions, cognition, mood, behaviour and general body function (Balo-gun, 2006). Substance could thus be considered as chemical modifiers of the living tissues that could bring about physiological and behavioural changes (Nnachi, 2007).

Substance abuse is a major public health problem all over the world (UNODC, 2005). The use and abuse of substances by adolescents have become one of the most disturbing health related phenomena in Nigeria and other parts of the world (NDLEA, 1997). Substance abuse is now one of the frequently occurring adjustment disorders in adolescents, young adults and general population. In fact, substance use disorders are the most prevalent form of psychiatric disorder in the United States (Rivers & Shore, 2002). Although all age groups are affected by this pervasive difficulty, adolescents and young adults are particularly affected. There were over 9,000 admissions for substance abuse related primary diagnosis out of 9,371 patients at US Acute Care Hospitals in the year 2000 (Chisom & Keller, 2006). Johnson, Bachman and O’malley (2003) found that 93 percent of those survived among over 6000 senior secondary schools had tried alcohol at least once in their lives. Furthermore, an estimated 20 percent of the total yearly cost of health care in the United State is spent on the effects of drug and alcohol use (Detweiler, 2008).
Substance abuse is a serious problem across all lines of race, culture, educational and socio-economic status, leaving no group untouched with its devastating effects. Nigeria is not excluded. A substantial proportion of the adolescent population use drugs or alcohol to the extent that their health and inter-personal relationship are adversely affected (Johnson, Bachman & O’malley, 2003). Violence involvement accounts as one of the risk factors for substance abuse (Scal, Ireland & Borom, 2003). In Nigeria there is now high rate of violence all over the states and Abia State particularly has remained a state with high rate of kidnapping since 2010 resulting to loss of lifes, decline in business and even health. This may be connected with substance abuse.

Substance abuse is the improper use of drugs to the degree that the consequences are defined as detrimental to the society, (Robber, Igbo & Amigwom, 2002). It is a pattern of behaviour that displays many adverse results from continue use of a substance. Okoroije (2000) defined substance abuse as the use of drugs for personal satisfaction and comfort, to a feeling of well being. Those substance of abuse may have been obtained on the street for medication purposes or prescribed by fraudulent means. NAFDAC (2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) explained the term substance abuse as excessive and persistent self-administration of a drug without regard to the medically or culturally accepted patterns. It could also be viewed as the use of a drug to the extent that it interferes with the health and social function of an individual. World Book Encyclopedia (2004) defined substance abuse as the non-medical use of a drug that interferes with a healthy and productive life. In this present study, the definition of substance abuse made by Robber, Igbo and Amigwom, (2002) was adopted as the operational definition, that is the improper use of drugs to the degree that the consequences are defined as detrimental to the society.

Substance that are abused according to Briggs (2000) have been classified into stimulants, hallucinogen, narcotics, tobacco, caffeine and sedatives. Saadatu (2006) pointed out drugs that are mostly abused to include Indian hemp, alcohol and amphetamine, (may be mixed with ribbon blue).
Substance abusers are persons who are involved in the improper use of drugs (Robber, Igbo & Amigwom, 2002). Olatunde (2009) states that Nigerian adolescents take drugs such as amphetamines and pro-plus as aid for success in examination. He postulates that those who take drugs as aids for studies toward examinations are those with poor academic records, a history of instability and family/ social problems while others, he commended; use drugs to increase their self confidence, heighten pleasure, cope with feelings of depression and inadequacy, and to facilitate communication.

Andreas (2006) stated that substance such as alcohol, drug and tobacco abuse are really prevalent among children and adolescents in the United States. He further pointed out that the use and misuse of these substance usually occur because of different reasons within the society in which these children and adolescent belong. Certain influencial factors to adolescents’ substance abuse; include; family and peer influence, individual characteristic including behaviour and personality (Johnson, Bachman & O’malley, 2003). All age groups are affected by this pervasive difficulty, adolescents and young adults are particularly heavily affected (Saadatu, 2006).

Adolescent are young people of chronological age and those who are physiologically old enough to have experienced puberty but not sufficiently matured to have developed the physical stability of adult life ( Agunlana, 1999). The term adolescent is derived from the latin word meaning ‘to grow up’ or to grow into maturity. Adolescent is a person who is in the transition to acquire biological features peculiar to the adult group (Okoro, 2004). Nwoarali (2004) defined adolescent as a person who is within the period of transition from childhood to adulthood and the adolescent’s age range fall between the ages 10 and 19 years. WHO (2010) defined adolescent as a person between the ages of 10 and 19 years. The adolescents pass through changes leading to physical maturity, poor judgment, risk taking, strong peer influence and idealism. In this study, adolescent is defined as a person who is within the period of transition from childhood to adulthood with age range falling between 15 and 19.

Eke (2004) observed that if the beginning of adolescent can be defined, the definition of its end is not really tidy and that the difficulty arises from the gross variability in the commencement of biological features of adulthood namely; menstruation in girls, and perhaps breaking of the voice in boys (Bakare,2002). Adolescence is a time of metamorphosis from childhood to adulthood associated with dramatic physical growth and development as well as experimentation and acquisition of behaviour that carry high risks, mobility and mortality (Turagabeci, Nakamura & Takana, 2008). This is in line with one of the main causes of adolescents substance abuse as pointed out by Haladu (2003) curiosity to experiment the unknown facts about drugs this motivates adolescents into substance use. The adolescents attitude depends on the behaviour of the individual as a person, for there are some whom their attitude may lead to stealing prostitution, truancy, lateness to school, drop-out of school to mention but few.
The term out-of-school adolescents does not refer only to adolescents who are outside of age appropriate level of education (that is lower secondary or upper secondary level), rather the term denotes adolescents who are definitely out of school, meaning that they are not enrolled in any lower secondary or any other level of education most typically at the primary level (UN, 2009; UNICEF, 2002 & WHO, 2009). UNICEF (2009) defined out-of-school adolescents as adolescents who are definitely out of school. In this study, the UNICEF’S (2002) definition of out-of-school adolescents will be adopted as the operational definition (adolescents who are definitely out of school)....

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