n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Gender and drug abuse among youths in Borno State in Nigeria : implications for public policy

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Research has found that since 1981 three to six million out of a population of about 100 million Nigerians could be classified as drug abusers (Kalunta 1981). Today the figure has not only risen sharply, but the effects on the health and socio-economic well-being of young persons are regarded as problematic. This rise in drug abuse is not peculiar to Nigeria. For example, the use of narcotics and other illicit drugs among medical students in Britain had more than doubled since 1984 (Gerra, Zamovic, Timpano, Zambelli & Ventimigha 1999). Similar situations are experienced in Italy, the United States of America and Canada (Gerra et al 1999). Undoubtedly, drug-abuse among male youths in Nigeria has been on the increase ever since 1981, but a new phenomenon, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria, is the involvement of female youths in drug abuse. This study, therefore, examines the extent and nature of substance abuse among male and female youths in Borno State with a view to proffering public policy recommendations on the problem of drug abuse among the youths, particularly the female youths. The study area is Maiduguri Metropolitan area, which is also the capital city of Borno State. Although Islam is the predominant religion, Christianity and some traditional religions exist. The area borders on the Republics of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.


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