Chapter 3: Drug use and beliefs in the Nigerian construction industry by Emmanuel Achuenu & Ochinya O. Ojiji
While it is universally accepted that drugs can be of tremendous benefit to man and society, it is also acknowledged that inappropriate use of drugs can do incalculable harm to man. The misuse and abuse affect mostly the individual, but the society is also affected in terms of the cost to society of the infrastructure for treatment, rehabilitation,social reintegration and after care of the drug dependent person (Emafo, 1990). In the present day societies, youths and adults use and abuse various types of drug especially pressure-producing substances or those with relative anxieties due to the tensions inherent in modern life. In addition to coffee, tobacco and alcohol which are seen as daily essentials amphetamines are taken to stay awake, barbiturates to go to sleep, Indian hemp and others are taken as panacea for stress of daily life (Fabiyi and Oladimeji, I993). The problems should be seen as a multifactorial one, a psychosocial or interpersonal and sometimes
medical problem (Adeyanji, I981).
It has been reported by Obot(1993a) that high proportions of patients admitted into hospitals because of acute psycho reactions had histories of cannabis (Indian hemp) abuse. Even though Indian hemp is associated with
many health and social problems, alcohol is the substance with the highest ‘index of harm’ and the most widely used among Nigerian youths as well as adults.