Culture of Safety and Good Health: Church Response to Drug Abuse Among Adolescents in Uyo

Culture of Safety and Good Health: Church Response to Drug Abuse Among Adolescents in Uyo

Godwin Effiong Ekenene (University of Uyo, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2574-6.ch010
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The growing effect of drugs abuse is today fast becoming a global health concern. This has placed great burden on our society as it affects the economy, the healthcare system, public safety, family life, and as well as church messages to the world. Studies has shown that adolescents in Uyo who believed in drugs abuse often experience array of problems, like academic problems, mental issues, and poor peer relationships, which by extension affect family members, the community, and the entire society. These implications have raised accusing finger on what action the church has taken towards solving this problem that has befallen our society. Thus, this chapter seeks to establish church responses to drug abuse. The study made use of questionnaires in gathering data using purposive sampling technique to select participants. Data gathered were analyzed using simple percentage method and independent t-test. This chapter encourages churches to take concrete action on the issue of non-medical use prescription of drugs and drug abuse.
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Ensuring healthy living and promoting well-being for all at all time is an important activity toward building prosperous societies. Good health means different things to different people, and its meaning varies according to individual and societal expectations. Health on the other hand is a concept that relates to and describes a person's state of being. It is therefore highly subjective when one talks about good health (Kobiowu, 2006). Health is often defined in terms of its negative aspect (e.g. ill-health), and a key focus of the health area of concern is the presence or absence of sickness, disease, injury and disability. It is common to observe that many people consider themselves healthy if they are free of disease or disability. However, people who have a disease or disability may also see themselves as being in good health if they are able to manage their condition so that it does not impact greatly on their quality of life. People living in areas where there are high levels of ill health, or extreme health problems, may see themselves as relatively healthy, even if they have some illnesses or complaints (Fawa, 2003). And people with relatively minor ailments may perceive themselves to be in poor health if they are aspiring to a greater level of wellbeing than is suggested merely by the absence of disease. It is incontrovertible that a person’s health is greatly affected by drug abuse. Drug abuse inflicts immeasurable harm on public health and safety around the world each year, and threatens the peaceful development and smooth functioning of many societies.

Nonetheless, the harms associated with drug use depend on the type of drugs used and how they are used, who is using them and the settings where usage takes place. There many different ways in which these factors can interact resulting in a wide array of possible drug use scenarios, which are associated with health effects of varying severity (Fayombo & Aremu, 2000). The most common combinations of forms of drug use, users and settings vary society to society and so is the nature and extent of the drug problems. A close examination of the economic costs of drug abuse reveals that it is necessary to develop policies that reduce such costs. In this regard, attempts to calculate an inclusive monetary burden of drug abuse in many societies have been mired with data limitations in the many areas that must be taken into account to arrive at even a rough estimate of the total cost of drug abuse.

Analysis of the economic consequences of drug abuse must account for expenditure associated with policy choices and take into consideration any gains and externalities. Although accounting for the full costs of drug abuse worldwide is quite challenging, analysing its consequences and understanding the domains it affects people and societies helps us to gain a clearer picture of the ways in which drug abuse affects the world(Kobiowu, 2006). Carefully speaking, the impact of drug abuse manifests itself in prevention and treatment costs, health-care and hospital costs, increased morbidity and mortality as well as many other extreme health related problems. The phenomenon of drug abuse in contemporary societies requires the general public to dedicate resources to evidence-based prevention, education and interventions, including treatment and rehabilitation (Kobiowu, 2006). Although such activities can be resource-intensive, studies have shown that spending on good prevention programmes can save a lot of money in subsequent cost implications. A visit to hospitals in connection with drug abuse shows that it quite costly to society in many ramifications. Such visits reveals that patients are admitted as a result of several reasons associated with drug problems such as a result of overdoses, adverse reactions, psychotic episodes and symptoms of infectious diseases that can be transmitted through, inter alia, injecting drug use, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other illnesses related to drug use. Additionally, hospitals often need to treat victims of drug-related crimes and accidents (Kobiowu, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mental Health: Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment.

Wellbeing: Wellbeing is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose. More generally, wellbeing is just feeling well.

Drug Harmfulness: Drug harmfulness is the degree to which a psychoactive drug is harmful to a user and is measured in various ways, such as by addictiveness and the potential for physical harm. More harmful drugs are called “hard drugs”, and less harmful drugs are called “soft drugs”.

Drug Addiction: Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.

Risk Factor: A risk factor is a characteristic, condition, or behaviour that increases the likelihood of getting a disease or injury. Risk factors are often presented individually, however in practice they do not occur alone. They often coexist and interact with one another.

Culture: Culture is a word for the 'way of life' of groups of people, meaning the way they do things. It is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour, the outlook, attitudes, values, morals, goals, and customs shared by a society. Culture is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of the individuals in these groups.

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