ROLE OF RADIO NIGERIA ENUGU IN FIGHTING DRUG ABUSE AMONGST UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
The researcher in this work focused on the roles of Radio Nigeria, Enugu in combating drug abuse among University Students. To achieve this aim, research objectives were constructed to guide the researcher in her study. Survey research method was used for the study. The population was the students of Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Agbani campus, and this made it possible for the researcher to select an appropriate sample size of 320 respondents. Using the questionnaire, the researcher was able to study the population. The researcher was able to find out that Radio Nigeria, Enugu plays a huge role in combating drug abuse among University Students. The study therefore recommends that Radio Nigeria (FRCN) through its campaign programmes has really impacted positively in combating drug abuse among University Students and youths.
Background of the Study
Communication dates back many centuries ago, right from the wall to the present use of scientific and methodical approaches in different spheres of human pre-occupation opportunities in an orderly target and result oriented manner.
Mass communication media are made up of print and electronic/broadcast media. However, Radio will be our main focus on this work. Radio is a medium of communication which is established for the promotion of economic development with a maximum coverage. Radio is also established for enhancement of educational development, stimulation of political participation and arousing National security.
Radio is the one of the most dramatic medium with a high audience reach both in the urban and rural areas respectively. Radio coverage is no less than 90 percent effective, the use of vernacular language to convey message makes radios a very flexible, portable and available medium, it is also inexpensive.
Every government, no matter its policy recognizes role of the media in combating drug abuse. Undoubtedly radio makes a greater contribution towards societal improvements, so with this in mind and the features already mentioned above, it can rightly be said that radio is the hub that holds the wheel of society together and it has a role to play in combating the various scourge that afflicts man today and one of such problem that has threatened the existence of man is drug abuse.
However, this study is on the role of Radio Nigeria Enugu in combating drug abuse among university students, a study of Enugu State University of Science Technology Students (ESUT), Agbani Campus.
Although Nigeria as a whole was known and considered a very great nation, rich in human and mineral resources, she was proud to be. She was financially, politically, economically and socially strong. Many countries wanted to invest in her, as others wanted just to be associated with her bounty, as they considered the cost of living in Nigeria very low, she was honoured both at home and abroad. She was rightly called the giant of Africa. The glory of Nigeria was simple, wonderful and great and she was the talk of the day. Nigeria in short was the pace-setter as far as the African continent was concerned.
One may rightly say that Nigeria was ascending to the heights in the post. However, striving to reach the peak of glory, politically and economically, along the way, she started descending as far as her glory was concerned. It is a Nigeria is not mentioned favorably in such an assessment, a situation which would not have arisen twenty or over ten years ago.
There is more and more insincerity both in the government sector and in the private sector. Crime is on the increase. Hired assassins are on rampage. The government seems incapable of doing anything. Everyone is looking for a messiah. Life in Nigeria has turned out to look like the science fiction book “animal farm” by George Orwell.
Nigeria has many serious problems, which have very serious health, social and economic implications on the society. According to Anekwe (2004), a higher percentage of our youths within the age arrange of eighteen (18) and youth between the age of twenty five (25) and twenty eighty years (28) have tried one drug or the other ad are tied to drugs. A high percentage of those
admitted of mental related problems also come from the same group. Thus the drug epidemic is gradually eroding the manpower base and future of Nigeria.
Before we advance further, it is very necessary we give a clear definition of drug. The advanced learner’s dictionary of current English defines drugs as substance used for medical purpose or substance producing stupor or insensibility. It also describes abuse as misuse of drug, or wrong drug usage. Drugs that are not generally accepted, medical ground may be a term preferred to the abuse of drugs in Nigeria. Nigeria has big problems, one of which is the serious social and economic implication in the society.
According to drug and alcohol service formation system (2002) poly drug, alcohol was most common substance reported to be abused by76 percent, the second was marijuana by 65 percent and other drugs by 26 percent and over half by fifty six percent of all admissions for treatment in publicity funded facilities in 2002, reported more than one substance abuse. Young-adult admissions were more of poly drug abuse, then older adult admission were more of alcohol according to the report.
As pointed out in Anekwe Herietta (2004), the Yaba psychiatric hospital, in 1984, treated 234 patients and in 1987, the figure climbed to 12,587, in 1989. It increased to 70,316. But these seems to be just a tip of the iceberg as this does not adequately resented the ugly situation as witnessed in most of the streets and federal highways in our country, Nigeria.
Drug abuse is one type of deviant behavior that was previously, exclusively associated with the western societies. This problem has been in existence before the eighties, but today the footage has turned into a frightening reality, a monster that has best ridden our country like a leach and refused to let go while gradually spreading its tentacles.
Drug abuse is not just about the creative with a vacant look in its fast blinking eyes, a twittering body and an altered without taking is about the student who cannot read without taking unsweetened coffee, kola-nut or pills. Is about filter lover who turns to the bottle for salvation, the business executive who must smoke to be able to work, the retrenched worker who floods his veins with smoke to forget his sorrows and adventures, who tries to get hick because others are doing it. Thus, drug abuse is not just about mislaying of drugs but the use of any chemical substance that has an effect on the body and they include, smoke cannabis, and heroine, cocaine, from the hemp plant, (cannabis satiua).
Nigeria has decided to indulge in drug abuse and there is nothing the country has to show for it. Most parents in Nigeria today in their bid to make both earns, meet, searching for greener pastures, always abandon and neglect the power welfare of their wards and children and expose them to the “unofficial” assistance of so called house-maids.
This ugly incident will psychologically depress such children there by giving rise to child abuse which is an off-shot of drug abuse.
Without minding words, such youths will end up in taking solace in some illicit hard drugs mentioned above for their survival in life. With this sad development, the society is being gradually and systematically ruined uncontrollably there, by destroying the moral values to the Nigeria policy via her youth. Drug abuse is a fatal past time Nigerians have decided to indulge in and made a companion.
In the past and in the present, there have been advertisements, campaigns, announcements, and a public outery against certain hard drugs, their effects and dangers through different media like Television, Radio, Newspaper, Magazines and Bill boards with such slogan as “say no to drugs,
drugs kill,” “a drug free child is the pride of the parents,” “lend a hand in ridding Nigeria of hard drugs”, “will you try anything?. You may never get off the hook” “aviod drug trafficking. You may end up behind bars” and so many others. The above slogans and many similar ones are some examples of the propaganda against drug and drug trafficking both from government and private agencies to preserve agencies to preserve life rather than to destroy.
However this research is aimed at knowing role or functions of radio of Nigeria of combating against drug abuse, in particular reference to ESUT undergraduates.
Nigerians have just woken up to the menace of drug abuse which is like a night mare that refuses to go away or like a shadow that does not depart from you. Drug abuse is not recent phenomenon in Nigeria. It started in the late 1960’s when the use of Indian hemp (cannabis) as a stimulant became widespread and what followed was a graded upsurge in the use of hemp of the Nigeria youths.
As a menace of drugs grew wide, the government woke up to the dangers of the trade if left unchecked.
This packaged programme was communicated to people of ESUT student and the entire society whom the projected is meant for.
Finally, evaluation of the programme will be undertaken to know the success or otherwise of the programme and also to know if an alternative solution would be sought.