According to Donald (2005), the socio-medical phenomenon of drug use and abuse among adolescents remains among the most critical issues facing our society today. The national and global environment is permeated with drugs of all kinds. Currently, the question is not whether most teenagers will use drugs, but which one(s) will they try And how many will become addicted to drugs Recent epidemiologic surveys confirm that most young people experiment with drugs such as alcohol and/or marijuana, while many try other drugs. A pervasive difficulty in dealing with this issue is our societal acceptance of drugs and the societal demand for medications to solve real or perceived health problems. The influence of the media and manufacturers, coupled with failure of governments and society to prevent the widespread availability of dangerous drugs also worsens this problem.
In Nigeria and most developing societies, there are growing health concerns on the rate at which over-the-counter drugs (OTC) and commonly-assessed psycho-active substances are abused. One of the commonly abused drugs are cough syrups-containing codeine (CSCC). Cases of mental disorder has been linked to CSCC abuse. According to Williams (2005), the illegal use of CSCC and the ease of obtaining the drug is increasing at an alarming rate and users of these CSCC with insurance or Medicaid, have learned various strategies of obtaining these drugs. Report indicates that some users have perfected ways of presenting symptoms that will be 'rewarded' by a prescription of desired CSCC.
In Denmark a new trend concerning the abuse of codeine has been reported by Jensen and Hansen. Danish drug abusers have discovered that codeine is easily separated from a number of medicine mixtures which is then used either orally or intravenously.
On a survey of primary abuse of CSCC in Nagaland, Niteen et al (1994) reported that most addicts were male in their early twenties whom were unmarried and educated up to matriculation. Mild forms of physical and psychiatric disorders amongst users were reported. Easy over-the-counter availability, lesser expenditure, milder withdrawals and ease of consumption without secrecy were some of the reasons observed by the study group for the emergence of this new form of addiction in Assam and Nagaland.
The Nigerian Directorate of Narcotic and Controlled substances of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and control (NAFDAC) disclosed that a large number of Nigerians are abusing the prescription of codeine.
The proposed special issue will look into the overall health, economic and socio-cultural impacts of this pandemonium.
The aims of this special issue are to:
-Have an overview of the current substances that are abused.
-Understand trends of substance abuse.
-Study the substance users and usage.
-Study the short and long term health hazards of the problem.
-Understand the perception drug abuse amongst health care givers and users of substances.
-Understand trends in techniques of health care management of substance abuse.
-Understand how regulatory policies and agencies fared in curtailing the syndrome.
-Have an overview of cellular and / or molecular basis and effects of substance abuse.