Drug Misuse, Consequences and Some Preventive Strategies
Emerging Trends in Disease and Health Research Vol. 8,
15 June 2022
Introduction: Globally, drug misuse and its attendant consequences have become the bedrock of social ills such as gangsterism, rape, prostitution, kidnapping, armed robbery, assault and assassinations, thus constituting a universal challenge plaguing many nations and causing concern to both Governments and the people. Drugs misused include the non-therapeutic (licit/legal) drugs like caffeine, tobacco/nicotine or alcohol as well as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, prescribed medications and illicit/illegal psychoactive substances including cannabis (use of this drug is now legalised in some countries but not in Nigeria), cocaine and crack, morphine, tramadol, codeine, heroin, benzodiazepines, etc. The misuse of these drugs has increased dramatically, resulting in immense health and socioeconomic consequences to which every healthcare professional and Government must recognise and respond. Despite this ugly scenario, the solution to drug misuse has remained enigmatic. This review aims to educate and provide assistance in alleviating and reducing the challenges of drug misuse and its consequences, particularly in Nigeria.
Methods: A manual literature and internet (Medline, HINARI, PubMed and other databases) search were conducted.
Results: It was found that the drugs misused have a notorious property of addictive potentials and hence, the unique ability to perpetuate their use by compromising rationality and wreaking havoc on the faculty of self-preservation. This causes a molecular brain disease which inevitably leads to disorder, dysfunction or destruction. Addictive substances induce pleasant/pleasurable states (euphoria in the initial phase) or relieve distress. Continued use induces adaptive changes in the central nervous system (CNS) that lead to tolerance, dependence, sensitization (reverse tolerance), craving and relapse with attendant adverse physical, mental, social, psychological, spiritual and economic consequences. Strategies to control drug misuse include reduction of harm, psychotherapy, drug treatment and prevention initiatives. Realistic media literacy for youth is imperative and religious grouping activities are protective.
Conclusion: Drug misuse is a major global public health issue. Remediations of misuse are directed at restoring the total wellbeing of the individual and the family together with improved political and socioeconomic conditions. Since prevention is the key to successful management, all hands must be on deck to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors so that we can effectively reduce and remedy the tragic effects of drug misuse and its consequences on individuals, families and nations.
- drug misuse
- consequences of drug misuse