Assessment of Causes, Prevalence and Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University...

Shimelis Keno Tulu, Wosen Keskis

  Open Access OPEN ACCESS  Peer Reviewed PEER-REVIEWED

Assessment of Causes, Prevalence and Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd Year Students

Shimelis Keno Tulu1,, Wosen Keskis1

1Department of Psychology, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia

Abstract

The findings of different study show that, alcohol and drug abuse among university students is increasing from time to time and becoming the major problem that many governments are facing currently. The case is not different for Ethiopian university and college [1]. Therefore, the focus of this study is to investigate the major causes, prevalence and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse (specifically, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarette, and chewing Khat) among Mekelle University, College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL), 2nd year students. Out of 690 total students found in 10 departments, Standardized screening test called (Drug Abuse Screening test (DAST) was administered to a total of 329 purposefully selected students to screen out alcohol and drug abusers. As per the result of the score, 200(29%) of the total students or [60% of those who are purposefully selected for screening test] were found to be alcohol and drug abusers. Hence, 200 participants met the criterion to be the participants of the study. Among the selected 200 total participants, 170(85%) were male and 30(15%) were female. All 200 participants were filled 3 questionnaires namely; questionnaire to assess causes of drug abuse, Inventory of Drug Use Consequences (InDUC-2L) and Questionnaire to assess the prevalence of Drug Abuse. Results show that, the major causes of alcohol and drug abuse are peer pressure, psychological factors, academic factors and social factors. The findings also show that, the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse is high among Mekelle University College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL) 2nd year students. According to the findings, the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse are behavioral, academic, physical, economic, health, psychological and social. Therefore, it is awfully recommendable that further comprehensively studies are conducted regarding the causes, prevalence and consequences of drinking alcohol, chewing Khat and smoking cigarette among university students. Moreover, appropriate prevention, intervention and treatment/psychotherapy mechanisms are also expected to be formulated to at least reduce rapidly increasing and the far reaching problems of alcohol and drug abuse among University and College students in Ethiopia.

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Cite this article:

  • Tulu, Shimelis Keno, and Wosen Keskis. "Assessment of Causes, Prevalence and Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd Year Students." American Journal of Applied Psychology 3.3 (2015): 47-56.
  • Tulu, S. K. , & Keskis, W. (2015). Assessment of Causes, Prevalence and Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd Year Students. American Journal of Applied Psychology, 3(3), 47-56.
  • Tulu, Shimelis Keno, and Wosen Keskis. "Assessment of Causes, Prevalence and Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd Year Students." American Journal of Applied Psychology 3, no. 3 (2015): 47-56.

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1. Introduction

About 230 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s adult population, are estimated to have used an illegal drug at least once in 2010. Alcohol and other drug (Khat and tobacco) users number about 27 million, which is 0.6 percent of the world adult population [1]. What is more surprising is that, alcohol alone kill around 0.2 million people each year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people. Similarly, [2] reported that, alcohol and drug use undermines economic and social development and contributes to crime, instability, insecurity and the spread of HIV. Not only that, alcohol and drug abuse is major burdens to society; causing economic costs, health cost, crime-related costs and losses in productivity [3].

Use of substances such as different alcohols, chewing khat leaves and smoking cigarette has become one of the rising major public health and socio-economic problems worldwide. Recent trends indicate that the use of substances, mainly alcohol, chewing khat and smoking cigarette have dramatically increased particularly in developing countries [4]. Alcohol, especially in high doses, or when combined with khat or tobacco, continues to claim the lives of many people. It is estimated that 9% of the global population aged 12 or older are classified with dependence on psychoactive substances such as alcohol [5]. Heavy consumption of alcohol when shared with chewing Khat is associated with many psychological problems including euphoria, hyperactivity, anorexia, insomnia, lethargy and depression. In addition, the combined use of alcohol and khat increase sexual risky behavior contributing to the spread of HIV infection [4].

Regarding the case of our country Ethiopia, no surprising that, the problem of alcohol and drug abuse is dramatically increasing. Several studies indicate that, substance use among Ethiopian adolescents is considerably rising [6]. Nowadays, different alcohols and chewing Khat and smoking cigarette are widely practiced among high school, college and university students in Ethiopia. Adolescent Alcohol and other drug (khat and cigarette) abuse may involve recreational benefits; such as to have fun, social conformity, mood enhancement and coping with stress [7].

The findings of different study reveal that, there is a strong link between khat chewing, smoking cigarette and excessive alcohol consumption and it is believed to be one of the factors associated with unprotected risky sexual behavior, predisposing the youth for HIV/AIDS transmission [4]. Of the young segment of the Ethiopian population, college and university students are the most at risk of using alcohol and other drugs such as chewing khat and smoking tobacco/cigarette. Alcohol, khat and cigarette are increasingly used by high school, college and university students as a means to improve academic performance and overcome life tension [8].

Entering the university often leads to various new opportunities such as independence from family control, self-decision making and peer-pressures to use alcohol, chew Khat, smoke cigarette and abuse other related drugs. It is generally acknowledged that, several factors are involved in the initiation of substance use among adolescents and young adults found in college and Universities [7].

As the findings of different study conducted at different times show, no question that, the use of alcohols, Khat and tobacco among adolescents can be extremely harmful, leading to decreased academic performance, increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases or other psychiatric disorders such as exhaustion. Luck of meaning in life, hopelessness and sleeplessness [8]. Furthermore, it exposes students to legal consequences, or jeopardizes their enrollment at the university.

Alcohol and drug use behaviors among university students have important implications for the welfare of the general population since the today’s university students are the tomorrow’s generation to own the country.

Therefore, it is only when these young population are free from alcohol and drug abuse that the hope and policy of our country will be realized. For that matter, this group of population should be identified as a crucial group for preventing, intervention and treatment of alcohol and drug use and address the transmission of HIV. The FDRE Educational Sector Development program IV, (ESDP IV) also emphasizes the issues of this alcohol and drug abuse. One of the major goals of this program is drug and substance prevention in educational sector.

Despite the fact that alcohol consumption, chewing khat chewing and cigarette smoking have become common practice among college and university students in Ethiopia, there is little studies that have been conducted regarding the major causes, prevalence and consequences in line with the associated factors [3].

Therefore, it is the researchers’ beliefs that, unless the causes, prevalence and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse is clearly identified, and corrective prevention and intervention is take place, it result in multidimensional (social, psychological, political and economical problems); attacking the country’s young, productive and educated population. This in turn will have strong impact on our national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). As a result, it is found very essential to undertake research that helps to clearly identify the causes, prevalence and consequences of Alcohol/drug abuse among this segment of population.

1.1. Definition and Concepts of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Alcohol can be defined differently under different contexts/profession. But for the purpose of this study alcohol can be defined as a colorless volatile flammable liquid which is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits, and other chemicals. On the other hand, drug is a medicine or other substances which has a marked psychological effect when taken into the body. There are numerous type of drugs with different chemical content and hence different physical, psychological and medical effects, starting from simple drugs found in coffee/teat to the most dangerous and legally prohibited to be used by individuals unless legally and medical allowed under special conditions. Drug abuse can be defined as the use of drugs or alcohol in a way that has social and interpersonal consequences for the person using it.

1.2. Major Causes of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in University and College

The reason why college and university students use alcohol and drugs (mainly drinking alcohol, chewing Khat and smoking cigarette) is almost similar to why other people do so. The common causes are; peer pressure, social factors, academic adjustment related factors, psychological factors and environmental factors as found by the findings of different studies [8].

Additionally, students also use alcohol and drugs as alcohol and drugs act by either depressing or stimulating the central nervous system, which seems to provide people with predictable and effective ways to change how they feel. Most students belief that such stimulation activate their brain which in return helps them to study hard and overcome teaching and learning process loads and meet deadline [9]. Often students choose to drink alcohol and/or use drugs that help them in some way, such as to increase pleasure or to decrease emotional or physical pain or to gain a sense of belonging socially as a response to high level of peer pressure in their campus life [8]. Generally, as indicated by the findings of different studies, the followings are major causes why people in general and university students in particular use alcohol and drugs:

1.3. Genetic Factors

The findings of different research conducted on drug use support the view that genetics play a significant role in the development of alcohol and drug-use problems in some individuals [9]. There are also other research findings that show genetic factors as influential in the transition of drug use from parents to children [10].

1.4. Family Factors

According to [9], the family has been described as the single most influential child hood factor in buffering the child and in shaping later adaptation. The influences of the family on adolescent drug abuse are fundamentally important, but complex. Factors about the quality and consistency of family management, family communication, family relationships and parental role modeling have been consistently identified as predictive of alcohol and drug abuse [11]. Specific family factors include; ineffective parental family management techniques; for example, lack of discipline/inconsistent discipline and negative communication patterns [10].

1.5. Traumatic Life Events

According to [5], children who have experienced traumatic life events (E.g., sexual, emotional or physical abuse; neglect or other) are at a high risk of harmful outcomes such as illicit drug use and delinquent/criminal behavior, and self-destructive and suicidal behavior. When students are physically and/or sexual maltreated, they are may suffer from an abnormally poor self-image that negatively affects subsequent socialization and to feel that the world is a generally unsafe place. Drugs are used to deal directly with the emotional pain of the abuse or with the subsequent self-derogation (children who have suffered physical abuse often feel that they deserved the punishment), as stated by [12].

1.6. Socio-economic status

There are different findings that attributing drug abuse to environmental influences such as socio -economic status, which encompasses both social factors that economical factors. It is also suggested that socio-economic status (for example, living in a deprived neighborhood, low income level) is an important risk factor for problematic behaviors, including alcohol and drug abuse [11].

1.7. Macro-environmental Factors

Macro-environmental factors that influence alcohol and drug abuse include advertising, legislation and law enforcement and the availability of drugs [6]. The high prevalence of alcohol and drug use in college and university students is mostly related to the availability of such drug surrounding the campus compound. Students can easily get alcohols and/or drugs of their interest without much effort in front of their campus. Another aspect of the macro-environment is society [13]. Social and psychological problems among adolescents, caused by rapid changes in society: increases in family conflict and breakdown, increasing poverty, high youth unemployment, soaring youth homelessness and growing education pressures.

1.8. Mental Health

As stated by [14] numerous studies have investigated the influence of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders on adolescent Alcohol and drug use. Psychological distress, including low self-esteem and depression, contribute to the initiation and maintenance of drug use. Evidences are found for higher rates of psychopathology among drug users compared with non-users [13]. Also, various relationships have been proposed between drug abuse and psychiatric disorders.

For example; drug use could induce psychiatric pathology in vulnerable individuals or drug use could begin as a form of self medication, particularly among schizophrenics. In summary, there is a tendency for adolescents who have problems relating to alcohol and drug abuse to have higher rates of emotional or psychiatric problems than other adolescents.

1.9. Knowledge

A study conducted at different time also indicated that, alcohol and drug abuse have been attributed to a lack of proper knowledge regarding the risks associated with such use. Adolescents are more likely to start drinking alcohol and abuse drugs/substances or other illicit drugs if they believed that casual use of the specific drugs is not harmful [13].

1.10. Major Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

An excessive use of alcohol and/or drug threatens physical or mental health, inhibits responsible personal relationships, or diminishes the ability to meet family, social or vocational obligations. Alcohol and drug use causes many interconnected and far reaching problems/consequence [12]. Research findings show that, alcohol and drug use can not only impair the bodies’ ability to function now, it can have long-range negative effects on health and well-being as well. Almost every system in the body can be negatively affected by alcohol [11]. Additionally, young people/students in university and college, who persistently use alcohol and drug often experience an array of problems, including academic difficulties, health-related problems (including mental health), poor peer relationships and involvement in criminal practices [15]. Additionally, there are consequences for family members, the community and the society at large. Among the others, the followings are found to be the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse that university and college students face.

1.11. Academic

The findings of different studies show that, declining grades, absenteeism from class/other activities, and increased potential for dropping out of school/university are problems associated with adolescent Alcohol and drug abuse [16]. Additionally, low level of commitment to education and higher absence rates appear to be related to Alcohol and drug use among adolescents in university and college. Cognitive and behavioral problems experienced by alcohol and drug using youth may interfere with their academic performance and also present obstacles to learning for their classmates [10].

1.12. Physical Health

Injuries due to accidents (such as car accidents), physical disabilities and diseases and the effects of possible overdoses are among the health-related consequences of adolescents’ Alcohol and drug abuse. According to [17], alcohol and drug abuse also motivate students to practice unsafe sexual enter courses with different sexual partners, which can lead them to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Transmission of HIV/AIDS primarily occurs during unsafe sexual contact or through sharing of unsterile drug-injection equipment [8].

Many students who used alcohol and drug engage in behavior that places them at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. This may include the actual use of psychoactive substances (particularly those that are injected) or behavior resulting from poor judgment and impulse control while experiencing the effects of mood-altering substances [18].

1.13. Mental Health

As it was stated by [3], mental health problems such as depression, developmental lags, apathy, withdrawal and other psychosocial dysfunctions frequently are linked to alcohol and substance abuse among adolescents.

Substance-abusing youth are at higher risk than nonusers for mental health problems, including depression; conduct problems, personality disorders and suicidal thoughts [7].

1.14. Peers

Alcohol and drug abusing University students often are alienated from and stigmatized by their peers. Adolescents using alcohol and other drugs (drinking alcohol, chewing khat and smoking cigarette) also often disengage from school activities (such as group work, different clubs in campus, sport practices, other academic works) and also community activities, depriving their peers and communities of the positive contributions they might otherwise have made [14].

1.15. Families

In addition to personal hardships, the abuse of alcohol and other drugs by university students may result in family crises and jeopardize many aspects of family life, sometimes resulting in family dysfunction. Both children and parents are profoundly affected by their children alcohol and drug involvement [12]. It is well known that substance abuse can drain a family's financial and emotional resources. This in-tern profoundly causes many interrerelated problems to the families.

1.16. Social and Economic Consequences

The social and economic costs related to youth alcohol and substance abuse are high. They result from the financial losses and distress suffered by alcohol and drug-related crime victims, increased burdens for the support of adolescents and young adults who are not able to become self-supporting, and greater demands for medical and other treatment services for these youth [13].

1.17. Delinquency and Criminal Behavior

As revealed by the findings of different studies at different time for example [15], there is an undeniable link between alcohol and drug abuse and delinquency. Arrest, adjudication, and intervention by the juvenile justice system are eventual consequences for many University and College students engaged in alcohol and drug use. Alcohol and drug abuse causes delinquent behavior, and physical or sexual abuse [17]. There is strong evidence of an association between alcohol and other drug use and delinquent behavior. Alcohol and drug abuse is associated with both violent and income generating crimes by adolescents. Unsafe sexual practice, gangs, drug trafficking, prostitution, and growing numbers of youth murders are among the social and criminal justice problems often linked to adolescent alcohol and drug abuse [14].

Generally, alcohol and drug abuse causes so many interrelated problems such as: loss of friends (except other substance users), negative changes in appetite with possible weight loss, reduction or loss of libido, extreme mood swings (often anger, depression), lying about alcohol and drug use to friends, loss of memory for times when under the influence, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when not using, involvement in crime to support habit, loss of energy and general health and wellbeing, and increasingly unable to believe own denial and excuses [16].

Figure 1. Physical Consequences of Smoking Cigarette

2. Statement of the Problem

The problem of alcohol and drug abuse among college or university students remains an important area of research due to the implications of early substance dependence on the future of the youth [18]. Previous studies from various settings indicate relatively high rates of alcohol and other substance use among high school students and those in higher educational institutions. Among the few studies from universities and colleges in Ethiopia, findings show high rates of substance use among students [19].

Alcohol and drug abuse is a common public health risk that peaks in persons between 18 and 25 years of age and is highly prevalent among university and college students. While this has been repeatedly studied and documented in developed nations, there have been limited studies in developing countries like Ethiopia [9]. In Ethiopian higher education institutions, alcohol and drug abuse and addiction has become one of the most serious problems in recent years Therefore, this study therefore sought to assess the causes, prevalence and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse among university students.

3. Basic Research Questions

This study is expected to answer the following basic research questions:

•  What are the major causes of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL 2nd year students?

•  What the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse looks like among Mekelle University CSSL 2nd year students?

•  What are the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL 2nd year students?

4. Objectives of the Study

This research has the following general and specific objectives:

4.1. General Objective

The general objective of this study is to explore the causes, prevalence and consequences of self-reported alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University, College of Social Sciences and languages (CSSL) 2nd year students.

4.2. Specific Objectives

1. To examine the major causes of alcohol and drug abuse.

2. To identify the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse.

3. To investigate the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse.

5. Methodology

5.1. Design of the Study

This study used a descriptive survey design involving the administration of the self-administered standardized questionnaire to collect information on the causes, prevalence and consequences of alcohol and drugs abuse (drinking alcohol, smoking cigarette and chewing Khat). Descriptive survey is used to describe the existing phenomena, including human behavior. It uses a pre-established instrument to collect data [20].

5.2. Study Area

This study is conducted on Mekelle University, College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL) 2nd year students of 2013 batch. CSSL was selected as the researcher personal observation and daily experience of alcohol and drug abuse problems during the daily basis of teaching and learning process. More over; It is for two main reasons why 2nd year students are selected among the others. First, at the time, during 2013, CSSL has no 3rd year students due to the government main focus on science and technology fields. Second, fresh man (1st year) students didn’t arrived at the campus during data collection.

5.3. Target Population of the Study

The target population of this study is all 2nd year students of Mekelle University, College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL). There are 10 departments in College of Social Sciences and Languages. In 2013, there were a total of 697 2nd year students in 10 departments.

5.4. Sampling Technique

Among the total 690 participants found in ten departments, purposive sampling technique is used to select 329 students, (who are supposed to be drug users) from the target total population of the study. A purposive sampling technique is used when the researcher is deliberately interested towards the targeted groups of participants with the intent to address the objectives of the study [21].

5.5. Participants of the Study

Standardized test called Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) was employed to screen out the actual drug users among the 329 students who are purposefully selected. Based on the result of calculated screening test, a total of 200 students are found to be drug users hence, met the criterion to be study participants. Accordingly, a total of 200 students are selected to be study participants. Among 200 participants, 170 (85%) were male and the rest 30 (15%) were female.

5.6. Instrument of Data Collection

To collect the desired data, the following instruments of data collection were employed:

•  Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST):

Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) is employed to screen out alcohol and drug users among the population f the study. This standardized instrument has 28 items that are developed for alcohol and drug users screening purposes.

•  Questionnaire to Assess Causes of Alcohol and Drug Abuse:

This questionnaire was adopted from standardized test to make it more appropriate as per the objectives of this study. It has 20 items that used to assess the major causes of alcohol and drug abuse/use.

•  Inventory of Drug Use Consequences (InDUC-2L):

Inventory of Drug Use Consequences (InDUC-2L) was developed by Michigan in 1982 and it is highly valid in assessing the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. Inventory of drug Use Consequences (InDUC-2L) has 40 items.

5.7. Pilot Testing

To determine the reliability of the instruments, pilot test is conducted. The Standardized test, called Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST), is first administered to 30 alcohol and drug user participants (Those who drink alcohol, chew khat and smoke cigarette, and are voluntary). The response of pilot testing is scored and the reliability of DAST is assessed using Cronbach Alpha, which is found to be 0.68. Similarly, the reliability of [Questionnaire to Assess Causes of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Inventory of Drug Use Consequences (InDUC-2L)] are also checked via pilot testing. The reliability of these instruments is 0.67 and 0.71 respectively.

5.8. Consideration of Ethical Issues

To give priority for the participants’ welfare, major ethical consideration is made while conducting this study. Accordingly, the following ethical considerations were performed sequentially:

•  First, the objectives of the study are made clear for all participants in the language they understand.

•  Second, the issue of [how, where and when] to collect data is determined as per the participants’ willingness.

•  Third, all participants are informed about all the possible suffering they may experiences during the process of data collection procedures.

•  Forth, all participants were informed about their right to stop participating in the study.

•  Lastly, informed consent is obtained from all participants.

5.9. Methods of Data Analysis

To analyze the collected data, both descriptive statistics (basically percentage) and qualitative methods of data analysis are employed. Specifically, the collected data were analyzed using the following methods of data analysis:

•  Descriptive statistics, basically simple percentage were employed to describe the major causes, prevalence and the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse.

•  Open ended questions/items (regarding the causes, prevalence and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse) were qualitatively analyzed.

6. Results

6.1. Demographic Characteristics of the Participants

Table 1. Tabular presentation of Participants’ Demographic Characteristics

In Table 1 above, the participants’ demographic characteristics (sex, age, and department) are presented. Regarding the sex of participants, among 200 total participants, who were selected using standardized screening test, 170(85%) were male and the rest 30(15%) were female participants. This shows that majority of drug abuser are male students.

Concerning the age of participants, almost all of the participants, that is 180(90%) of the total participants are within the age category of (20 to 24 years old). On the contrary, only 4(2%) of the participants are within the age category of (more than 30 years old). When we see the participants’ department, of all 10 departments found in the college of social sciences and languages, it is Psychology department that has many drug abusers. That is 40(20%) of the students are drug abuser. On the next hand, it is Tigrigna depart that has small number of drug abuser, which is only 4(2%).This might be due to the small number of total participants found in Tigrigna department.

6.2. Analysis of Major Causes of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University CSSL 2nd Year Students

It can be recalled that the general objective of this research is to assess the causes, prevalence and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse (drinking alcohol, chewing Khat and smoking cigarette) among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd year students. With that in remark, the first specific objective of the study is addressed as follows:

Table 2. Analysis of major causes of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL, 2nd year students

The first specific objective of this study is to identify major causes of alcohol and drug abuse [drinking alcohol, chewing Khat and smoking cigarette] among Mekelle University CSSL 2nd year students.

As clearly shown in Table 2 above, majority of the participants 110(55%) responded that, the most common cause for alcohols and drugs abuse (especially that of drinking alcohol, smoking cigarette and chewing Khat) is peer pressure. As per participates’ responses, next to peer pressure, academic adjustment problems, and social factors are among the major causes for students to be alcohol and drug abusers; representing, 20%, and 15% respectively.

6.3. Analysis of the Prevalence of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University CSSL, 2nd Year Students

Table 3. Analysis of the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL, 2nd year students

The second specific objective of the study is to investigating the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd year students. Concerning the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse [That is; drinking alcohol, smoking cigarette, and chewing Khat], it can be said that it is highly prevalent. The detail information regarding the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse across all 10 departments found in College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL) can be seen from the above table.

As shown in Table 3 above, among the 10 departments found in College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL), it is psychology department that has both large numbers of total students (120), and high prevalence of alcohol and drug abusers. That is, among the total 120 students, 70 (58.33%) were purposefully selected for screening test, of which 40 (20%) are found to be alcohol and drug abusers.

Similarly, the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse is high in Geography Department. That is; among 75 total students the department of geography has, 30 (40%) were selected for screening test, of which 28 (37.33%) were found to be alcohol and drug abusers.

When we see the general cumulative prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among ten departments, out of the total students (690) found in 10 departments, 200 students, which is almost (30%) of the total students found in 10 departments, are found to be drug abusers. Hence, it is possible to say that [in a general speaking] the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL, 2nd year students is high.

6.4. Analysis of Major Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd Year Students.

The third specific objective of this study is to investigate the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. Consequently, the major consequences of drinking alcohol, chewing Khat and smoking cigarette is presented below.

Table 4. Analysis of major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University, 2nd year CSSL students

The findings of different research conducted on related area show that, alcohol and drug abuse has numerous and interconnected consequences. Similarly, it can be seen from Table 4 above that, almost all participants 180(90%) are responded that they are experienced academic consequences that are resulted from alcohol and drug abuse. As their responses, due to drinking alcohol chewing Khat and smoking cigarette they have faced and still facing many academic related problems such as class absenteeism, low participation in the classroom, during assignment and group work, unable to attend exam and lack of concentration during study and exam unless they use alcohol and/or drug of their habits.

They also added that, as a result, their academic achievement is lowering from time to time even for those students who were once an excellent students.

Regarding behavioral consequences, the responses from majority of the participants 160 (80%) show that, alcohol and drug abuse negatively affects their previous normal behaviors.

Their behaviors or what they call it “Our mood” is negatively changed both while they unable to get alcohols and/or drugs of their habits and even after they use alcohol and drugs. They responded that, when they fail to satisfy their alcohol and drug habits, most of the time they feel confused of what to do, being in state of behaviorally instable, get in conflict with their friends, show unethical, impolite behaviors and involving in different anti-social behaviors

Similarly, 190 (95%) of the participants responded that shortage of money is common problem and their pocket is always empty as a result of alcohol and drug abuse. The responded about the situation saying, “Alcohol and drug abuse really drains our money, and let our pocket so empty” As per the respondents’ response, almost all money sent from family is used to satisfy their alcohol and drug needs. Hence, they have no money to fulfill other needs such as clothes, shoes, soap, photocopy, and other personal and teaching-learning related costs.

Regarding Health consequences of alcohol and drug abuse, majority of participants, that is, 140 (70%) responded that, due to alcohol and drug abuse, they are facing many health related problems that are basically physical, psychological and social in nature. They responded that, psychologically they faced and facing different problems such as, low self esteem, sleeping disorder, memory problems/lack of concentration and irrational thought, especially during overdose. As the participants responded, physical consequences includes, but not limited to vomiting, hangover, [teeth, eyes and lip decolonization] and weight lose.

As shown on the above table, significant number of respondents also responded that, they are suffered and are suffering from different social problems [such as social stigma, discrimination, self-neglecting, and lack of respection from others] and psychological problems [such as irritation, sadness, constant worry, mood disorder, and feeling of hopelessness].

7. Discussion

The findings of this study are similar with different research findings that were previously done at different time and places. The similarity of findings are almost uniform in regard to the major causes of alcohol and drug abuse, the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse and major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse, as far as the case of university and college students are concerned.

The key and major findings of this study, with its possible comparison with the findings of other similar previously done study are presented below:

Regarding the causes of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University, College of Social Sciences and Languages (CSSL), the findings revealed that, the major causes are; peer pressure, academic adjustment related factors, psychological, social factors, environmental factors and socio-economic factors.

The findings of this study are similar with other research findings; for example, [22] found that, peer pressure and environmental related factors are the major causes for drug abuse among College and University students. Similarly, as per the participants’ responses, peer pressure (via modeling, imitation and fear of isolation) is the major causes of alcohol and drug abuse in campus.

A significant number of participants also responded that, another reason why students star to use alcohol and drug is academic related factors such as while their academic achievement is low, there are many overloads of exam, test, and deadlines for assignment and project works. Similar result was also found by [23] that, low academic achievements, distasteful teaching and learning process and tedious campus life are among major causes that lead students to star using alcohol and drug.

When we came to the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse, the participants responded that, alcohol and drug abuse (especially chewing Khat, smoking cigarette, and drinking alcohol is highly prevalent among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd year students.

Majority of the participants evidenced that the number of alcohol and drug users per each department and/or section is not insignificant. It is not only the high prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse, but also the prevalence is increasing from time to time and there are so many students who are starting using alcohol and drugs due to different but interconnected reasons, of which peers pressure, personal is the leading one. Similarly, [24] found that, as students stay more in campus, there is more change to start alcohol and drug use due to different interrelated factors. Contrary to this, most students found it too difficult to stop using alcohol and drug once they started. Research finding present so many potential reasons why the prevalence of alcohol and drug use is so high among college and University student. For example, [18] found that, due to various social and psychological factors, it is not surprising to see high alcohol and drug prevalence in college and university.

As far the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse is concerned, the findings of this study showed that, alcohol and drug abuse result in so many interrelated and long-lasting consequences. There are many available research findings that clearly show the multidimensional consequences of alcohol and drug abuse, for example, [22]. The findings of this study match with the finding of other research regarding the far-reaching effects of alcohol and drug abuse. As participants responded that, the common consequences of alcohol and drug abuse includes, but not limited to, health consequences that can be physical, psychological and social, behavioral consequences (for example; anti-social behavior), academic consequences (low academic achievement, drop-out, and absenteeism) and financial consequences (shortage of money to meet basic needs, and to satisfy their addiction), which is similar with the findings of [23].

Health consequences of alcohol and drug use can be physical; for example, hangover the person felt after alcohol and/or drug use, lose of body weight, physical fight and/or injury during and/or after alcohol and drug abuse, harmed/damaged physical appearances due to alcohol and drug abuse, especially smoking cigarette and chewing Khat. The health risk of alcohol and drug abuse can also be psychological in nature; for example, depression, stress, memory or concentration problem, low self esteem, frustration, and lack of meaning in life.

When we see the health consequences of alcohol and drug abuse of social nature, it can be damaged interpersonal relationship, poor communication, non assertiveness, weak social life, poor socialization, devaluing social norms and values are some of them [24]. Additionally, as it was founded by [25], a large proportion of those using alcohol reported serious adverse effects, raising the necessity of targeted interventions to reduce the risk of subsequent substance dependence and other deleterious consequences.

Another major consequence is academic and academic related consequences, as stated by [26]. The participants responded that, alcohol and drug abuse result in academic consequences such as missing the class, absenteeism, fail to meet the deadline for projects, assignments, and other requirements, lack of money to do some project works that needs money to do them successfully, shortage of time to make necessary preparation for exams, low academic achievements, and even dismissal from the campus as a result of poor academic performance. Similar findings were obtained by study conducted by [27].

Behavioral consequence is another major consequence of alcohol and drug abuse. As replied by the respondents, behavioral consequences include, but not limited to insulting other students, and/or campus police, getting to physical conflict, saying cruel things to other, doing impulsive things that regret them later, shouting in the campus, dorm or around the class, and motivation to use further alcohol and/or drugs during using alcohol and drugs. Study conducted by [28], regarding the behavioral effects of drug abuse is not contradicting the findings of this study.

8. Conclusion and Recommendation

8.1. Conclusions

The main aim of this study is to investigate the major [causes, prevalence and consequences] of self-reported alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University, College of Social Sciences and languages (CSSL) 2nd year students. Accordingly, this study is conducted to answer the following three basic research questions:

•  What are the major causes of alcohol and drug?

•  What the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse looks like?

•  What are the major consequences of alcohol and drug abuse?

Based on the main objectives and the major findings of this study, the following conclusions are made:

•  As majority of the participants responds, the most common causes of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL, 2nd year students are peer pressure, academic adjustment related factors, social factors, environmental factors, socio-economic factors and psychological factors. The most commonly and publicly used alcohols and drugs are drinking different types of alcohol, chewing Khat, and smoking cigarette.

•  The prevalence of drinking alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University, CSSL 2nd year students is high, that is, a significant number of students from the selected department are alcohol and drug abusers.

•  Drinking Alcohol, smoking cigarette and chewing Khat is affecting students who are alcohol and drug users, leading them to significant academic, physical, social, psychological, health and socio-economic problems.

8.2. Recommendation

The findings of this study clearly answer three basic questions, which are the objectives of this study: these are, (what the major (causes, the prevalence, and the consequences) of alcohol and drug abuse among Mekelle University CSSL, 2nd year students.

It can be recalled that, students use alcohol and drugs for different, but interrelated causes, the significant number students use alcohol and drug and finally, using alcohol and drugs unquestionably cause numerous problems and adversely affects the alcohol and drug users’ life.

Based on these basic research findings, the following recommendations are forwarded:

•  Universities shall design alcohol and drug policy that governs the overall process of alcohol and drug related issues so as to reduce the easy exposure of students to alcohol and drug abuse.

•  It seems very difficult to totally avoid alcohol and drug abuse among University students. Hence, there shall be well-equipped Guidance and Counseling center, having its own professional team-work from different disciplines (Psychologist/counselor, sociologist and lawyers) that are capable to provide the necessary prevention and intervention measures to reduce the risk of alcohol and drug abuse among University students.

•  The consequence of alcohol and drug abuse is very complicated with far reaching tendencies, to the extent of destroying the generation. Hence, Mekelle University, Mekelle city administration and other concerned bodies shall work hand in hand to control and eliminate the possible alcohol and drug trafficking around the potential area [especially near Universities’ compound].

•  Short and frequent training for freshman students, awareness creation conferences, workshops and meetings are of most important to update the knowledge, attitude and practice of our students regarding alcohol and drug abuse. Hence, it is highly recommendable to regularly and frequently create such chances for the target population.

Acknowledgement

First of all, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the participants of the study for their generous cooperation and trust they had during the data collection process. Secondly, we would like to extend our thanks for Mekelle University, who was provided fund for this research. Lastly, we would like to thanks our friends who encouraged us to conduct this research through providing constructive comments.

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