Substance abuse among youths in Kashere town: A theoretical and empirical analysis
Substance abuse is a global social problem. The study was conducted in Kashere town of Akko Local Government Area, Gombe State. The study specifically explored whether the youths are aware of the dangers of substance abuse, the types of substance used and abused, and the major causes and effects of the substance abused. A sample size of 138 including one hundred and twenty youths aged 13 – 35 years, four ward leaders (Masu Angwa), two youth leaders, two religious leaders, three Police officers, two union leaders (National Union of Road Transport Workers and Okada Riders Association), three community-based associations (Vigilante) and two students residing in Kashere town were drawn using multi-stage and purposive sampling techniques. The data for the study were collected using questionnaire and quantitative data collected were analyzed using simple frequencies and percentages with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 software; while the qualitative data generated were analyzed using content analysis. The findings revealed that majority of the youths are not aware of the dangers associated with substance abuse and that there are many factors, such as peer influence, lack of parental care, broken homes, frustration and emotional stress influencing substance abuse in the study area. The study proffered recommendations, among others, that the police and NDLEA officials should partner with informal security group (vigilante) and community leaders to organize sensitization programmes on the dangers of substance abuse, especially among youths.
Keywords: Adolescents, Drugs, Drug Abuse, Illegal Drugs, Gombe Statein