ABSTRACT: The study was carried out to investigate drug abuse and students’ academic achievement in secondary schools. Three research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Literature related to the study was reviewed. A survey research design was adopted for the study. A sample size of two hundred  respondents were selected from five  public Secondary Schools under the study area using simple random sampling technique. The main instrument used for data collection was a structured questionnaire and achievement Test. The result from the instrument was analyzed using independent t-test statistics at 0.05 level of significant.
Findings from the study revealed that students who do not abuse Alcohol have a better achievement in school than those who abuse marijuana. It also showed that students who do not involve themselves in alcohol abuse perform academically better than their counterpart who abuse alcohol. Finally, the finding also shows that students’ who do not abuse tobacco performed academically better than students who abuse tobacco.
Drug Abuse And Students’ Academic Achievement
1.1 Background to the Study
Every individual grow towards becoming functioning members of the society, in the process of growth, gains empowerment through school learning which act as a determinant for academic excellence. This commitment on the part of Government and other non-state actors has extended to ensure that students are properly groomed and tutored on how best to effectively manage themselves in an ever-changing world. These changes have tempted some students to believe that, for them to be able to achieve academic expectations they need to be involve in the use of hard drugs (Brook, etal. 2009).
Drug abuse, is generally viewed as the use of a substance that modifies mood or behaviour in a manner characterized by a maladaptive pattern of use. Musto (2008) says that drug abuse is the use of drug that can cause disorder characterized by the use of a mood or behavioral pattern resulting in significant impairment, such as failure to fulfill social or occupational obligations or recurrent use in situations in which it is physically dangerous to do so or which end in legal problems
Drug abuse is the use of drugs for purposes other than medical reasons, thus affecting the individual negatively, socially, cognitively and physically. Social effects may be reflected in an individual’s enhanced tendency to engage in conflicts with friends, teachers, and school authorities. Cognitive effects relate to the individual’s lack of concentration on academic work and memory loss. Lewinsohn (2007) defines a drug as any product other than food or water that affects the way people feel, think, see, and behave. It is a substance that due to its chemical nature affects the physical, mental and emotional functioning of people. It can enter the body through chewing, inhaling, smoking, drinking, rubbing on the skin or injection. Drug abuse amongst the global youth population has become a serious problem affecting everyone.
Drug addiction has led many people into downward spiral of hopelessness, ranging from glue-sniffing street children and teenage ecstasy, heroin alcohol, tobacco and cocaine (Nacada, 2005). Drug abuse is responsible for lost wages, destruction of property in schools, soaring health care costs and broken families. It is a problem which affects us all as parents, children, teachers, Government officials, taxpayers and workers.
The use of hard drugs by students in Nigeria has become an embarrassing phenomenon to parents, schools, government authorities, and the society at large. The students today are the leaders of tomorrow and they deserve good education in the right direction (Kothari, 2006)
One of the most common consequences of drug use is keeping up with academic responsibilities. According to, National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (2005) in United State of America about 25% of students experience difficulty in academics due to drug Abuse. Such difficulties include earning low grades, doing poorly on test, missing class and falling behind in academic performance. The common drugs abuse by these students includes alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana etc. Students who involved themselves in the abuse of these illicit drugs hardly keep up with academic work.
Johnson (2012) posits that the abuse of drugs by students is a presumed indicator of academic failure. Even students who don’t use drugs may suffer academic challenge as a result of peer influence. Another effect of drugs includes taking care of friends on drugs and being victims of assault which can affect school work of students who don’t use drug. These consequences can have dramatic end results.. Drug use undermine academic mission of schools, colleges and universities.
Drug use and its effect on students performance can lead to a decline in the overall academic performance of a school as a result schools may face declining retention rates and poor reputation. Schools with reputation of ‘drug use’ may attract students who engage in high-risk behaviors and may discourage prospective students who are looking for an academically vigorous institution. It was on this background that the researcher was interested to examine the influence of drug abuse on students’ academic achievement in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In any educational system, success is measured by academic performance or how well a student meets the standard set out by the institution. The menace of failure among the young school students has stared parent, government and stakeholders in the face. There is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education as a big problem that is hindering the posterity of the Nigerian nation in terms of quality man-power resources. Most students in secondary schools experience academic challenges that manifest itself in the form of poor academic achievement.
Measures have been taken by Educational stakeholders in the bit to solve this problem, but all efforts proof abortive. Hence, this study seeks to examine the influence of drug abuse on the academic achievement of students.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to examine the influence of drug abuse on student academic achievement.
Specifically, the study sought to:
- Determine the extent to which alcohol Abuse influence students’ academic achievement.
- Examine the extent to which the use of tobacco influence students’ academic achievement.
- Examine the extent to which the use of marijuana influence students’ academic achievement.
Drug Abuse And Students’ Academic Achievement
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study will be of immense benefit to students, parents, teachers, curriculum developers and the society at large. Specifically, the study would benefit the followings:
To the students, it is hoped that the result will aid them to uncover hidden potentials in them. By seeing the influence of certain behaviours like aggressiveness, altruistic tendencies, truancy and their interactional effects on fellow students, teachers, parents and on their learning potentials.
To the parents as it would improve their relationship with their children, since parents are in a better position to understand their children with consideration. It will also act as an eye opener to parents for them to know that a close relationship with their children should be developed to check certain behaviour that may affect their wards achievement in school. The results of this study will help teachers to understand more and will find it easy to deal with different categories of learners from different homes.
The curriculum planners would also benefit immensely since it will provide a basis for them to design the curriculum, bearing in mind various behaviour of individuals and possibly plan realistic strategy for achieving the objectives and goals of education.
Finally, the society stand to benefit from this study, as there will be farewell to some of the unwanted behaviours that tend to hinder the academic performance of the students. The knowledge gained from this study will assist Government through the ministry of education to design policies and programmes which will help enhance family cohesion so parent will be able to relate better with their children. This will help the development of well-behaved individuals by modifying their behaviour properly.