Research Article - (2022) Volume 13, Issue 6

Poonam Kumari Yadav1* and Rejina Parajuli2
 
*Correspondence: Poonam Kumari Yadav, Department of Nursing, Institute of Medicine, Birgunj, Nepal, Email:

Author info »

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge regarding drug abuse among the school students.

Materials and methods: A descriptive cross sectional study design was used. 106 samples were selected randomly from grade IX and X of Shree Janak Secondary School. Self-administered structured knowledge questionnaire was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics was used to calculate percentage and frequency. The chi square test was used to find association between selected demographic variable and level of knowledge. P value of 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: 99.1% of the respondents heard about drug abuse, 97.9% said drug abuse is bad for health, 96.2% said Gaja is commonly available, 51.9% said high chance of getting HIV with drug abuse, 67% said financial burden as cause, 60.4% said drug abuser performed poorly at school work, 71.7% said awareness program as the way to prevent from drug abuse and 26.4% said counselling. Similarly, 52.8% said rehabilitation is the way to treat drug abuse, 88.7% said dependence to drug as the long term complication of drug abuse. Majority 57.5% had poor, 41.5% have adequate and 0.9% had good level of knowledge regarding drug abuse.

Conclusion: Half of the respondents had poor knowledge regarding drug abuse and level of knowledge is significantly higher for Brahmin/Chhetri and poor for Janajati, Dalit and Madhesi.

Keywords

Drug abuse knowledge, Substance use, Adhesives

Introduction

“Drug abuse” is defined as any use of drugs for non-medical purposes almost always for altering consciousness. Drug abuse denotes substances that change the mental or physical state of a person and that may be used repeatedly for that effect leading to abnormality (Matowo AS, 2013). “Enjoyment” and “Curiosity” were found to have the major influence in their decision to use a substance (Tsering D, et al., 2010). According to Central Bureau of Statistics, July 2008 report of Nepal the substances abused in Nepal include cannabis (86.9%), heroin, nitrezepam and buprenorphine (86%), brown sugar (60.5), white sugar (14.3), opium (7.1) and inhalation of adhesives and other polishing substance (2.6%) (HDUN, 2016). Substance abuse can be in the form of inhalation, ingestion or intravenous. Altogether there were 46,309 hard drug users of which 92.8% accounted to male and 7.2% accounted to female, the average age at the first time drug intake was 17.7 (HDUN, 2016). As the first experience of substance abuse often starts in adolescence, and studies have shown that drug use is mainly related to cigarette and alcohol consumption, evidence shows that nearly three fourth (73.1%) current hard drug users had experience of first time drug intake before they reach 20 years (HDUN, 2016). Majority of the hard drug users have level of education below SLC (HDUN, 2016). The injection mode of drug use is one of the major causes of HIV infection in Nepals (HDUN, 2016; WHO, 1997; Chatterjee A, et al., 1996). Academic difficulties (declining grades, absenteeism from school and other activities, and increased potential for dropping out of school), health-related problems (accidental injuries, physical disabilities and diseases, and overdoses), poor peer relationships death due to suicide, homicide, accidents, and illness are problems faced by young drug abusers (Maccoun R, et al., 2003; UNODC, 2017). Both licit and illicit substance use was associated more with male students and the use of a substance by family members had a significant impact on its use by their children (NCPC, 2009).

As the young age group spends most of their time in school and peer being a strong determinant or influencing factor all these makes this age group prone to use of licit and illicit substance use (HDUN, 2016; NCPC, 2009). The aim of this research was to assess the level of knowledge regarding drug abuses among the students of selected school students and to determine the association between the levels of knowledge regarding drug abuse with selected variables. The findings of the study will be useful to policy maker, researcher, government and non-government agency, guardians, education providers, health providers and leaders to know the education level on drug abuse.

Materials and Methods

A descriptive cross sectional research was conducted in the Shree Janak Secondary School of province 4, Gaidakot Municipality, ward-5 of Nawalparasi district. At 10% error and prevalence of 50% 96 samples were required so 106 samples were selected randomly from grade IX (55) and X (51) from each section (Bhattarai J and Chudal S, 2018). Inclusion criteria were students present in the classroom, willing to participate of both genders. Nepali version of questionnaire was used to collect data. Purpose of the study was explained; participation to this study was voluntary and can withdraw any time from the study if they wished. Written consent was obtained from the respondent. Self-administered questionnaire were distributed to the participant. A pretested semi structured questionnaire was filled by the respondents who were selected for the study. Anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents and data was maintained by giving unique code number to each participant. The duration for the self-administered semi structure questionnaire was 20-30 minutes.

All collected data were reviewed and checked for its completeness, consistency and accuracy. The collected data were organized, coded and entered in excel and transfer to SPSS version 26. The findings were analyzed using descriptive statistics; percentage and frequency. The chi square test was used to find association between selected demographic variable and level of knowledge.

The semi structured questionnaire was developed through intensive literature review, consultation with research guide and subject expert in the related field. Instrument was pretested among 10% of the total sample i.e. students of class IX and X of Tri Juddha Madhyamic Vidhyalaya Birta-4 Birgunj, Parsa. The reliability of the knowledge questionnaire was 0.90.

Self-administered structured knowledge questionnaire was used for data collection. It was divided into two parts. Part I consist of 14 items related to selected socio-demographic variables such as age, sex, ethnicity, religion, economic status, parent’s education, parent’s occupation, peer pressure, family history relation with parent, teenage curiosity to assess the knowledge regarding drug abuse. Part II consist of 19 structured knowledge questionnaire to assess the knowledge regarding drug abuse to obtain information regarding definition, causes, sign and symptom, effect, prevention, complication and treatment of drug abuse.

Results

57.9% of the respondents had poor knowledge, 41.5% had satisfactory and 0.9% had good knowledge on drug abuse. 99.1% of the respondents heard about drug abuse. Education status of respondent’s father was 92.5% and 88.7% for mother. 32.1% of the respondent’s father was service holder and 48.1% mother as housewife. 86.8% of the respondent’s has family member not involved in drug abuse and 97.2% lived with family. Most of the respondent’s (84%) said drug abused person can get out of it and 17% said can’t think about other source of entertainment. Majority (60.4%) said drug abused performed poorly at school work. Table 1 represents the socio-demographic characteristics, Table 2 represents knowledge on drug abuse, Table 3 summarizes findings of cause, sign, symptoms and effect of drug abuse, Table 4 summarizes the results of prevention, treatment and complications of drug abuse, Tables 5 and 6represents the level of knowledge regarding drug abuse and association of respondent’s level of knowledge with selected variables respectively.

Variables Frequency Percentage
Age in years
13-15 82 77.4
16-18 24 22.6
Gender
Male 55 51.9
Female 51 48.1
Religion
Hindu 93 87.7
Buddhist 10 9.4
Christian 3 2.8
Ethnicity
Dalit 14 13.2
Janjati 34 32.1
Madeshi 1 0.9
Brahmin/Chhetri 57 53.8
Study in Class
Class 9 55 51.9
Class 10 51 48.1
Monthly family income (INRs.)
< 15000 15 14.2
15001-20000 20 18.9
20001-24000 21 19.8
>24000 50 47.2
Relationship with parents
Very good 91 85.8
Good 11 10.4
Normal 2 1.9
Poor 2 1.9
Relationship with friend
Very good 80 75.5
Good 24 22.6
Normal 2 1.9

Table 1: Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents

Variables Frequency Percentage
Heard about drug abuse
Yes 106 100
If yes, source of information**
Mass media 45 41.5
Family 13 12.3
Friend 19 17.9
Teacher 41 38.7
Meaning of drug abuse
Taking a medicine 4 3.8
Using necessary tablet 1 0.9
Inconsistent use of drugs* 101 95.3
Health perspective of drug abuse
Good for health - -
Bad for health* 104 98.1
Required for health 2 1.9
Useful in our daily life - -
Community available drug for abuse**
Gaja 102 96.2
Chares 9 8.5
Marijuana 1 0.9
Cocaine 3 2.8
Cannabis 1 0.9
Heroine 2 1.9

Table 2: Respondents knowledge on drug abuse

Variables Frequency Percentage
Cause of drug abuse in student
Good relationship with parent 2 1.9
Good knowledge about complication of drug abuse 3 2.8
Teenage curiosity/peer pressure* 101 95.3
Sign and symptom of drug abuse**
Poor decision making 44 41.5
Poor self-control 47 44.3
Increase interest in work 7 6.7
Poor communication skill 18 17
Increase irritability and aggressiveness 80 75.5
Effect of drug abuse**
Physical effect 59 55.7
Psychological effect 82 77.4
Social effect 37 34.9
Economic effect 42 39.6
Physical effect of drug abuse
Depression 35 33
Stress 11 10.4
High chance of getting HIV with drug use* 55 51.9
Low socio economic status 5 4.7
Psychological effect of drug abuse
Having family support 1 0.9
Good relationship with friend 3 2.8
Increase irritability and aggressiveness* 91 85.8
Accident 11 10.4
Social effect of drug abuse
Decrease the chance of getting communicable disease 2 1.9
Improve personality 3 2.8
Quarrel and fights* 99 93.4
Sleeping disturbance 2 1.9
Economic effect of drug abuse
Decrease crime 8 7.5
Trouble with police 13 12.3
Financial burden* 71 67
Accident/Injuries 14 13.2

Table 3: Respondent’s knowledge on: Cause, sign and symptom and effects of drug abuse

Variables Frequency Percentage
Ways to prevent from drug abuse **
Supportive therapy 35 33
Awareness program 76 71.7
Involve in peer to peer prevention program 44 41.5
Counselling 28 26.4
Ways to treat drug abuse
Leave the person alone 1 0.9
Provide calm environment 19 17.9
Rehabilitation 56 52.8
Involve person in regular activity 30 28.3
Short term complication of drug abuse
Lung cancer 17 16
Hepatitis 11 10.4
Affect in person decision making* 75 70.8
Pneumonia 3 2.8
Long term complication of drug abuse
Headache 6 5.7
Irritability/Aggressiveness 6 5.7
Dependence to drug* 94 88.7

Table 4: Respondent’s knowledge regarding prevention, treatment and complications of drug abuse

Level of knowledge Frequency Percentage
Poor knowledge (<50%) 61 57.5
Satisfactory knowledge (50%-75%) 44 41.5
Good knowledge (>75%) 1 0.9

Table 5: Frequency and percentage of respondents’ level of knowledge regarding drug abuse

Variables Poor Satisfactory X2 value p-value
Age group
13-15 44 38 2.242 0.134
16-18 17 7
Gender
Male 34 21 0.854 0.356
Female 27 24
Religion
Hindu 54 39 0.083 0.773
Buddhist/Christian 7 6
Ethnicity
Dalit/Madhesi 8 7 7.51 0.023
Janjati 26 8
Brahmin/Chhetri 27 30
Father's education
Literate 57 41 0.202 0.653
Illiterate 4 4
Mother's education
Literate 52 42 1.687 0.194
Illiterate 9 3
Father's occupation
Service 19 15 2.805 0.423
Agriculture/Homemaker 5 8
Business 19 10
Labour/Abroad 18 12
Mother's occupation
Service 6 6 0.659 0.883
Agriculture/Homemaker 41 31
Business 11 6
Labour/Abroad 3 2
Monthly income (INRs.)
<15000 8 7 1.637 0.651
15001-20000 14 6
20001-24000 12 9
>24000 27 23

Table 6: Association of respondent’s level of knowledge with selected variables

Discussion

Drug abuse affects person’s nutrition, sleep, decision making and impulsivity, risk for trauma, violence, injury, and there is risk of communicable diseases to both people who are taking drugs and on those around them. The effect on ability to control their stress level, decision making, ability to learn and remember, etc. make it much more difficult for someone to stop taking the drug even when it’s having negative effects on their life and they want to quit. Long term effects include heart or lung disease, cancer, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and others (NIDA, 2022).

Narcotics Drugs (Control) Act, 1976 (2033 BS) is the legal framework for drug control issues in Nepal. The Act has provision for the prevention and treatment of drug users. The Department of Narcotics Control under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has responsibility for narcotics issues in Nepal. The MHA has established a National Coordination Committee for Drug Abuse Control (NCC) for strengthening of management procedures, policy and strategy (NLC, 2006).

Findings of the present study showed majority (57.9%) of the respondents had poor knowledge regarding drug abuse, 41.5% had satisfactory and 0.9% had good knowledge. A study carried out among high school adolescents of Dhaka by Zaman and Almajidi (Zaman MS and Almajidi WA, 2013) revealed that among 120 students, 84.2% had poor knowledge about drug abuse, 15.8% had average knowledge and none had good knowledge about it. Whereas, Tsering, Pal and Das Gupta (Tsering D, et al., 2010) revealed that level of knowledge on harmfulness of substance use was very high (urban 84.6% and rural 61.5%) among high school students in Indian. The studies conducted by Haddad L. in Jordanian adolescent showed students of both sexes were knowledgeable about aspects of substance abuse (Haddad L, et al., 2010). Billalli SF’s findings contradict with current study and revealed that majority (65%) had inadequate knowledge and (35%) had moderate knowledge regarding drug abuse and its ill effects (Billalli SF, et al., 2017).

Almost 99.1% of the respondents heard about drug abuse. Among them, 41.5% heard from mass media and 12.3% from family. A study carried out by Tsering, Pal and Das Gupta have revealed that media was the most frequent source of information among high school adolescents in India (Tsering D, et al., 2010). Regarding meaning of drug abuse, almost all (95.3%) of the respondents said inconsistent use of drugs and a few (0.9%) said using necessary tablet. A similar study carried out in Nigeria by Adebowale, et al. revealed, more than 50% know the meaning of drug abuse, the dangers of using drugs wrongly and the legal status of drug abuse (Adebowale AT, et al., 2013). Among the respondents, almost all (95.3%) said teenage curiosity/peer pressure as the cause of drug abuse in student. UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) reported that peer pressure, curiosity and lack of awareness are the main reasons for youth getting involved in drug use in Nepal (UNODC, 2017). Present study shows that most (84%) of the respondents said drug abused person can get out of it. A similar study carried out by Bhattarai and Chudal in Biratnagar, Nepal showed that more than three-fourth (75.8%) mentioned people can get rid from drug addiction (Bhattarai J and Chudal S, 2018). Majority (71.7%) of the respondents said awareness program as the way to prevent from drug abuse and 26.4% said counselling. Similarly, 52.8% said rehabilitation is the way to treat drug abuse and 0.9% said to leave the person alone. A similar study carried out in Biratnagar, Nepal by Bhattarai and Chudal (Bhattarai J and Chudal S, 2018) showed that around two third (68.2%) respond that drug addiction can be control by awareness program and counselling whereas others i.e. 31.8% are unaware of it. Out of 66 respondents, 80.3% said that media help to control drug addiction by delivering knowledge about drugs (Bhattarai J and Chudal S, 2018). Two third (66.7%) said drug addiction can be treated with rehabilitation, providing counselling and use of medicine.

This study supports that knowledge regarding drug abuse is significantly associated with education level, family occupation and family members involved in drug addiction. Research has shown that there is strong relationship between adolescent substance abuse and family drug usage and family peer pressure (Antwi DJ, et al., 2003).

Drug abuse affects individual, family and social life. There is increase in number of adolescents in licit and illicit use of substance. This state of substance abuse needs to be focused on time if not, the state will lose a huge number of productive and creative human resources and there will be state of increase in criminal activities.

Conclusion

Adequate knowledge on drug abuse and its effects to adolescent, creating healthy school, social and family environment for children and adolescent is one of key step necessary to prevent this problem. Beside this, since, senior household members are the first and effective educator to their kids, they should be provided with informal education about drug abuse, its cause, consequences and preventive ways for get rid of drug abuse. From the result it is concluded that above half of the respondents had poor knowledge regarding drug abuse and level of knowledge is significantly higher for Brahmin/Chhetri and poor for Janajati, Dalit and Madhesi. So, special educational package should be included in the course contents.

Limitation

The study was conducted only in Shree Janak Secondary School of Gaidakot Nawalparasi so the finding cannot be generalized to other setting.

Recommendation

Intervention program like health education, awareness program should be undertaken in order to maintain the knowledge regarding drug abuse at an optimum level. Curriculum regarding drug abuse can be included in their academic schedule. Similar studies can be conducted on a larger scale for wider application. A comparative study can be carried out between government and private secondary school.

References

Author Info

Poonam Kumari Yadav1* and Rejina Parajuli2
 
1Department of Nursing, Institute of Medicine, Birgunj, Nepal
2Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Science, Chitwan, Nepal
 

Citation: Yadav PK: Knowledge Regarding Drug Abuse among School Students

Received: 02-May-2022 Accepted: 27-May-2022 Published: 03-Jun-2022, DOI: 10.31858/0975-8453.13.6.361-365

Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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