Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Gender and Peer Influence on Substance Abuse among Undergraduates in Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Gender and Peer Influence on Substance Abuse among Undergraduates in Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria

Article excerpt

This is a survey research study which investigated gender and peer influence on substance abuse among undergraduates in Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria. 513 undergraduates were purposively selected for the study. The researchers designed the instrument, Gender and Peer Influence on Substance Abuse Inventory (GAPISAI) used in collecting data from the respondents. The data collected were analysed using percentages, Pearson product moment correlation co-efficient formula and t-test statistical analysis. The three formulated hypotheses were accepted by the results of the finding. The researchers suggested that all fresh and stale students in the University should be exposed to Self Concept Assertiveness Training (SCAT) and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Programme (SARP).

Key Words: Gender, Peer Influence, Substance Abuse and Undergraduates.

Gender is a concept and process imbued with multifarious complexities in content and structure. It is a concept imbued with notions of difference hierarchy, opposition and inevitably, power relations. Gender is informed by assumed capabilities for individuals based primarily on their sexual anatomy. According to Olademo, (2009), it is seen as a social categoiy that is not rigid but culturally undertone. Gender has been defined as "practice organised in terms of or in relation to the productive division of people into male and female. According to Brehel & Sargent, (2001), gender is informed by "assumed capabilities, social power and it vaiy from culture to culture. Oyewunmi. (1999) defines gender as an institution that establishes patterns of expectations for individuals. It is veiy important to say that gender is not the same as sex, however, sex and gender are closely linked and implications emanating from sex as a concept profoundly affect gender (Oyewunmi, 1999). For the purpose of this study, sex and gender are viewed as a connecting factor affecting peer influence on substance abuse among undergraduates in Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria.

Drugs can be defined as substances that affect the senses. Olley, (2007) conceives drugs as powerful chemicals that can alter perception of self,' of others and in some cases of the environment. Odejide (1992) defined drug as a substance which when taken by a living organism may modify one or more of its functions. About 80 different drugs that are commonly abuse have been identified by W.H.O (1985) and these include Opium, Heroin, Barbiturates, Qualudes, Valium, Cocaine, Crack, Amphetamines, L.S.D.P.C.P, Hashish, Marijuana, Designer drugs and Anabolic Steroids. Originally, the word 'drugs' referred to dried plants whose active ingredients were used as medicine. Today, drugs refer to substances with a psycho-active effect (Olley, 2007). These drugs have dependency potential that are subject to abuse. Substance abuse has to do with an individual who is using a drug when there is no legitimate medical need to do so or who is drinking in excess of accepted social standards is said to be abusing that chemical (Maraño, 2002). According to Maraño, (2002), substance abuse is a maladaptive use of a drug, resulting in impairment of functioning or distress, as manifested by a failure to perform adequately at home, school or work. Substance abuse according to Odejide (1992) is the use of a drug that is not physiologically or pharmacologically necessaiy or when it is the presence of legal prohibitions or inactions' and with a drug whose use exceeds what is generally accepted within that culture. The use of any substance according to Lambo, (1985) is that the drugs are not medically necessaiy.

In this study however, substance abuse would be examined as a term which connotes social evaluation. The social evaluation of behaviour is the limits of tolerated behaviour anything above or below is abuse or abnormal example, the limits of an average African's behaviour are different even among the Ibos and the Yorubas'. It involves an individual engaging in the drug act in a way that is improper and harmful to him. …

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