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A Critical Appraisal Of Drug Abuse In Cameroon

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Since the early times, herbs, leaves and plants have been use to heal and control diseases. The use of drugs in itself does not constitute any danger, because drugs correctly administered have been a blessing. Falco (1988) as cited by Sambo (2008) viewed that “chronic use of substances can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescent’s physical and psychological development  The use of drugs could be beneficial or harmful depending on the mode of use.

A drug refers to a substance that could bring about a change in the biological function through its chemical actions (Okoye, 2001). It is also considered as a substance that modifies perceptions, cognition, mood, behavior and general body functions (Balogun, 2006).
According to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Report (2005), some 200 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population aged 15 – 64 have used drugs at least once in the last 12 months. Likewise, according to the World Drug Report (2005), the use of illicit drugs in all nations has increased in recent years.

The report goes on to note that the increasing availability of a variety of drugs to an ever widening socio-economic spectrum of consumers is disconcerting, although the main problem at the global level continues to be opiates (notably heroine) followed by cocaine.

For most of Europe and Asia, opiates accounted for 62 percent of all drug treatment sought in 2003. While 3.3 to 4.1 per cent of the global population admits to consuming drugs, the most worrisome trend for the UNDCP Executive Director is the younger and younger ages at which people are becoming addicted.

Drug abuse has a negative impact on the education of undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon. The overall health of the user is affected negatively and behaviour associated with drug abuse predispose the abuser to crime and contagious diseases including HIV/AIDS (CDC, 2000). Drug abuse has thus become a national concern in Cameroon, given its impacts on education and future leadership, innovations and human resources.

Undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon are particularly at risk given that they are in their formative years of education, career development, social skills and identity formation. Reports from education officials in Cameroon suggest that students are using alcohol and nicotine, in particular, at a rate that is causing concern. Despite National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and other organization-based interventions, drug abuse is on the rise with over 40% of students abusing various types of drugs.

Drug abuse appears to be a well-entrenched behaviour among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon. In shopping centers and other public spaces, students who have dropped out of school because of drug abuse, can be found loitering and participating in other forms of criminal activity. Given the availability, consequences and increasing use of drugs in Cameroon, it is important to establish students’ perception of drugs and substance abuse and how these perceptions influence their behavior when it comes to drugs and drug users.
One of the principles of proper usage is that drugs should be medically prescribed and in addition the user should comply with the instruction of the prescription. However, it is known that some drug users do not always comply with the instruction and tend to use them without prescription. Both behavior constitute either drug misuse or drug abuse respectively.

Drug abuse is a situation when certain drugs are taken in short or over of the prescription dosage. Misuse of drugs can also be seen as a situation an individual applies a drug meant for a particular ailment for another type of a major social problem, particularly in the developing countries.

Certain phase of the problem involves in some way almost every sector of the society. Because of the importance drugs are being recommended and haphazardly by students, parent, legislators and judges, just to mention but a few with or without medical instruction or prescription. Drug abuse according to Tuner (1971) is defined ‘as taking of drugs without medical advice or direction”. Ndu (1982), defined it as “the use, especially by self-administration of any drug in a manner that deviate from the approved medical or social pattern within a given culture”.
From the above definition, it is obvious that any of the following conditions constitutes drug abuse, sell administration of drugs without prescription, excessive use of drugs and indiscrimination use of alcohol and tobacco. Ruch (9963) defined alcohol addiction as an uncontrollable need to drink that the person’s economic, social and family life disintegrates”. Such person depends on alcohol to get him through the day and feel he cannot face life without it. Kalunta (1976), defined drugs as to obtain and take drug in over-increasing dose, and to develop physical and psychological symptoms if the source of supply is cut off

The commonly abused drugs according to (Inhinmwin 1987), include alcohol, nicotine, hypnotics like barbiturates and stimulant, caffein like coffees tea, kolanuts and cocaine, hallucinatory like marijuana and narcotics like opium and other drugs. Ndu (1982) in his study classified most of the pharmacological agent commonly abused into six.

They include, opium and related analgestic compounds, general central nervous system depressants, central nervous system stimulant and psychedetic. Drug abuse has become a cankerworm which has eaten deep into the fabric of the society, so much that there is hardly any government or regime that does not embark on one form of public campaign or the other in the effort to check it. The campaign mounted by the government and its agencies seem to have been ignored by the drug users and traffickers. Hence some government in Cameroon introduced draconian law in order to check drug abuse as well as drug trafficking among citizen, for instance, Buhari/Idiagbon (1983) introduced death penalty for drug trafficking in Cameroon.
Margan (1987), reported during the lunching of campaign against drug abuse at Lagos that the problem of drug abuse has reached a stage that it was necessary to arouse the awareness of the general populace to the menace. She stressed that if Cameroonians did not rise up against drug abuse therefore it cancerous effect spreads, it might be their children, parent, relation or friend that would be the next victim.

The then master of social development, youth and sport, Lawal (1987), report that his ministry was involved with the campaign because quite a number of abusers of drugs were young and women. These categories of citizens, he said, were the responsibility of his ministry. He identified reasons for taking drugs as boredom relief from rain and stresses, feeling of rejection, need for love, ignorance and curiosity.

He therefore, stressed that the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking would amount to nothing without the collective effort of individual, families, parents, teachers, school, religious bodies and voluntary organization. Garba (1986) expressed concern over how students’ sexually transmitted disease (STD) resorted to treating themselves indiscriminately with antibiotic. According to him, student who avoided doctor or bought antibiotic from chemist without prescription endanger their health because of the risk of buying expired drugs and abuse of such drugs. He therefore called on the federal government to enact a law barning the indiscriminate sale of some drugs including antibiotics except on prescription from a medical doctor.

Reacting to drug abuse and its attendant consequences, Alusa (1986), reported that some students engaged in drug competition and might become psychitic after excessive consumption of a particular drug or alcohol, such student lost self-controls, committee crimes including sexual abuse on female students and damaged public property.

He warned that student who indulged in psychoactive drugs and alcohol, usually ended up with intellectual deficit as a result of brain damage leading to poor academic performance, early drop out and later delinquency. The then assistance inspector General of police, Aliyu (1987), listed a case of a boy in Lagos who suddenly pulled out a gun in the midst of a crowd and opened fire on the innocent people without any cause. On the arrest the police discovered the boy acted under the influence of drug.

This is in line with the report of Lagos medical practitioner, Oyemiran (1989 p. 28), who reported that during influence criminal tendencies in youths. “When a youth takes any of the activity drugs without the recommendation of a trained doctor, it becomes effective in him such that he begins to create an illusion about things. The more he uses the drug, the more his body gets activated”.

He further highlighted that in addition to these, drugs would create mental problems for the youth. This is because the drug taken goes to the brain through the blood stream. And since the brain control the entire body and through the blood stream the drug is transmitted to other part of the body, the drugs causes the youth to be immunes from pain and then has a lot of got to go anything no matter how irrational it is. The concerned antigens are thus worried about the degree at which this phenomenon is growing among our youths in the secondary schools.

The Emir of Fika Local Government Area of Borno state, Ablik(1986), said in Postiskum, that students and unemployed youths were responsible for most of the crimes committed at that time in Postiskum. According to him, the crime statistics compiled by the police revealed that minor crime like sexual abuse, truancy, picking pocketing, insults of teachers and assault of female were committed by students under the influence of drugs. Asuni (1964), reported that eight of twenty-six cases administed to Amo- hospital (Abeokuta) due to effect of India Hem smoking were attributed to students. Olafunde and Oviasn (1974), reported that 62 out of 352 undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon investigated at Ibadan used central nervous system stimulant and 55 of these misused or abused drugs. Similarly, Udo (1982), found in a study concerning drug taking beliefs, opinion and behaviour that amoung undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon in Ibadan that 89 out of 428 he investigated had experienced smoking cigarette, while 1990 of the same sample had taken wine or beer.

From the above instances of drug abuse and its attendant consequences, one is not left in doubt as to the magnitude of it concern to the nation. The issue is viewed seriously because the chief culprit and victims are the youth who are the main architects of the nation’s future. It is imperative therefore, that the war against crime in society should begin with fighting the use of hard drug by our youth as people were likely to be law abiding avoid crime if they were prevented from abusing hard drugs.

Thus, the idea to investigate the prevalence of this social phenomenon among the undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon in Cameroon was conceived by the researcher.
The researcher realizes that the larger society has been handicapped about the rising incidence of drug abuse. This study will identify those drugs that are commonly abused and how it has contributed to the falling standard in education, besides the rising cases of youth indiscipline in the larger society. It will highlight how counseling can help reduce this problem to its barest minimum.
In the above light, below are some benefits the researcher has at the back of her mind while conducting this research topic.
Firstly, it will help the parents to understand the drugs commonly abused by students in secondary schools and why they abuse them. This will help the parents adopt a better strategy in joining the fight against drug abuse among secondary school children.
Secondly, the mass media will have more knowledge on the nature and impact of drug abuse among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon. This will help them adopt a more sophisticated approach in using the mass media to discourage undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon from indiscriminate taking of drugs.
Thirdly, education administration in Cameroon education zone will understand to a large extent how drug abuse has contributed to recent indiscipline and decline in student performance and perhaps adapt a better method to check this ugly trend.
The main objective of this study is to examine the effects of drug abuse among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon.
Therefore, its specific objectives comprise:
1. To investigate why students abuse drugs.
2. To identify the drug commonly abused by students.
3. Examine the causes and extent of drug abuse among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon
4. To identify the effects of drug abuse and
5. To ascertain how through counseling, the rate of drug abuse can be reduced in our secondary schools.


The researcher formulated four research questions to give guide to the work.
They include;
1. What reasons can you proffer for using drugs?
2. What are the drugs commonly abused by students?
3. What are the effects of drug abuse?
4. To what extent can counseling be used to reduce drug abuse among students?
On the basis of the problem stated earlier, the following hypotheses were formulated to guide the researchers:
1. There is no significant difference in the causes of substance abuse between the male and female subjects.
2. There is no significant difference in the causes of substance abuse between the senior and junior students.
3. There is no significant difference in the causes of substance abuse between the Muslim and Christian subjects.


It is generally known that human societies are faced with numerous problems and challenges. In like manners, institutions found with such societies are also engulfed by such societal problems and therefore the students in Cameroon education zone which also constitute a fraction of the leaders of tomorrow are no exception to the problem of drug abuse

Teachers in the secondary schools have observed with dismay and regret the non-challant attitude of some students towards their studies. Some of them do not come to school regularly and some others when they come do not stay in the class for their lessons, as most of them prefer to stay in their hide-outs where they carry out their nefarious activities such as smoking and taking of alcohol.

It is no news these days to hear of students bullying other students and even some of them fighting their teachers as well as the school authorities. Most schools are experiencing one form of disturbance/demonstration or the other. Recently, due to drug abuse/misuse, it was reported that some students in a government college in Cameroon beat their fellow student to death. Such sporadic violent behaviour exhibited by students are mostly carried out on the influence of drugs.

The health implication of self-medication among our secondary school student has become a source of concern for so many well-meaning Cameroonians. Most students have turned themselves into “medical practitioners” because of an ailment they once had. They are constantly diagnosing and prescribing for themselves and others without any knowledge of the composition, purpose or side effects of the drug.

This is a dangerous precedent to which other people in the society have become accustomed to, to the neglect of its grave consequences.
In view of the fact that drug abuse is gradually gaining ground among Cameroonian youth and also for the fact that it has done irreparable harm to most families as well as rendering most people useless, it becomes imperative that something ought to be done to correct the situation.

The research is to investigate on the effect of drug abuse in Cameroon, focusing on senior secondary schools in Cameroon
1. Drug:
Any product other than food or water that affects the way people feel, think, see and behave. It is a substance that, due to its chemical nature, affects physical, mental and emotional functioning. It can enter the body through chewing, inhaling, smoking, drinking, rubbing on the skin, or injection.
2. Drug abuse
Drug abuse refers to the misuse of any psychotropic substances resulting in changes in bodily functions, thus affecting the individual socially, cognitively or physically.
3. Drug related problems
This term is used to describe all the negative effects associated with drug abuse including ill health, violence, and conflicts with friends or school authorities, destruction of school property and academic underperformance.
4. Illegal/legal drugs
In this study illegal drugs refer to the substances deemed harmful to the mental and physical wellbeing of the individual by the government who seeks to control or discourage consumption by law. Legal drugs refer to those such as alcohol and tobacco that are potentially dangerous but whose consumption the government allows.
5. Intervention
Attempts to help drug users positively modify their behaviour and change their attitude towards the misuse of drugs are referred to as interventions.
6. Psychoactive Substance
Refers to any substance that when taken can modify perception, mood, cognition, behavior.
7. Strategies
This term refers to the methods or approaches that schools have put in place to address drug related problem



This chapter will review literature relevant to the research topic. The effects of drug abuse among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon in Cameroon. This literature review cut across the opinions, views and finding of the effects of drug abuse among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon
This literature review shall be divided into the following sub-headings;
2.1 The Concept Drug Abuse
2.2 Theories Of Drug Abuse
2.3 Types Of Drug And Substance Abused By Students
2.4 Causes Of Drug Abuse
2.5 Effects Of Drug Abuse
2.6 Strategies For Counseling To Reduce Drug Abuse
2.7 Summary Of Review Of Related Literatures

Individuals make choices to begin using drugs. Some people begin using drugs to relieve a medical condition and then continue to use the drugs after the medical need is over. Children or teens who are depressed or who have another psychiatric disorder sometimes begin using illicit drugs in an attempt to self-medicate. Other people begin taking drugs to feel pleasure, to escape the pressures of life, or to alter their view of reality. This voluntary initiation into the world of addictive drugs has strongly influenced society’s view of drug abuse and drug addiction and their treatment. When does drug abuse become drug addiction? It rarely happens with the first use of a drug. Drug abuse and drug addiction can be thought of as points along a continuum. Any use of a mind-altering drug or the inappropriate use of medication (either prescription or over-the-counter drugs) is drug abuse, but the point when drug abuse becomes drug addiction is less clear. Different people may reach the point of addiction at different stages. Scientists continue to investigate the factors that contribute to the transition to drug addiction.
The Modified Social Stress Model (MSSM) for understanding drug use guides this study (ESCAP 2000). The model was developed by Rodes and Jason (1988) and modified by the World Health Organization/Programme on Substance Abuse (WHO/PSA) to include the effects of drugs or substances, the personal response of the individual to drugs and additional environmental, social and cultural variables.
Research has shown that in order to prevent substance abuse, two things must be taken into consideration: factors that increase the risk of developing the problem must be identified, and ways to reduce the impact of these factors must be developed. This theory maintains that risk factors are those factors that encourage drug use. Factors that make people less likely to abuse drugs are called protective factors. The key to health and healthy families is increasing the protective factors while decreasing the risk factors.

According to this model, if many risk factors are present in a person’s life, that person is more likely to begin, intensify and continue the use of drugs. The model identifies risk factors as including: stress (which could be due to the school or home environment, and adolescent developmental changes); the normalization of substance use which could be seen in terms of legality and law enforcement; the availability and cost of drugs; and advertising, sponsorship and promotion through media, as well as the cultural value attached to various drugs.

The more protective factors that are present, the less likely a person is to become involved with drugs. Protective factors are identified as: attachments to people such as family members and peers, and institutions such as religion and school; physical and performance capabilities that help people succeed in life; the availability of resources, within the person or the environment, that help people meet their emotional and physical needs; positive role models; and anti-drug campaigns along with guidance and counseling services.

According to this model, it is easier to understand the drug problem if risk and protective factors are considered at the same time. Probability of drug abuse is determined by these factors and this framework is useful as a way of planning interventions to prevent or treat problems related to drugs.

It is important to note that the factors listed above are not exhaustive. The presence of risk and protective factors is context dependent and the proportions of their contribution depend on their intensity in given situations.
Theories of drug abuse indicate that some people truly depend on certain drugs for their survival due to a number of factors. The major emphasis of the theories is that people have their individual reasons for depending on one type of the drug or the other. Such reasons, according to
Eze and Omeje (1999) are explained by the following theories. Personality theory of drug abuse, learning theory of drug abuse, biological theory of drug abuse and socio-cultural theories
(a) Personality Theories of Drug Abuse:

The main emphasis of the theories is that there are certain traits or characteristics in the individuals that abuse drugs. Such personality characteristics, according to Eze and Omeje (1999) are inability to delay gratification, low tolerance for frustration, poor impulse control, high emotional dependence on other people, poor coping ability and low self-esteem. Individuals with these personality characteristics find it difficult to abstain from drug abuse.
(b) Learning Theory of Drug Abuse: It maintains that dependence or abuse of drugs occurs as a result of learning. The learning could be by means of conditioning, instrumental learning or social learning.
(c) Biological Theory of Drug Abuse: The theory maintains that drug abuse is determined by the individual’s biological or genetic factors which make them vulnerable to drug addiction
(d) Socio-cultural Theories of Drug Dependence/Abuse: The theories maintain that abuse is determined by socio-cultural values of the people. For instance, while certain cultures permit the consumption of alcohol and marijuana, other cultures do not. Among the Urhobo, Ijaw, Ibibio, Edo, Igbo, Yoruba and Itesekiri, alcohol i.e. Ogogoro is used in cultural activities. In Northern Cameroon, alcohol is forbidden due to Sharia law. However, the sharing law does not forbid cigarette consumption and thus nicotine dependence. It should be noted, however that no theory fully explains the etiology of drug abuse. This is due to individual differences. It then becomes obvious that the disorder (drug abuse) is an acquired one. The acquisition, then is dependent on a host of personal inclinations and environmental factors, a situation explained suggestively by Bandura (1986) social cognitive theory, i.e the triadic reciprocity involving behaviour, environment and the person

In a study conducted at Aba by Kalunta (1977), he broadly divided drugs into six. The first and most popular is marijuana or India lemp otherwise known as “port” “grass” “wee”, “weed” and “hashish”. The second groups of drug are stimulant which include amphetamine group with various slang names of “speed” “dexies” and “pepelis”. The third group is so called psychedelic drugs also known as hallucinogenic drugs and include names of “blue leaven”, “Red” “Bird” and “yellow jacket”. Others in this group are non-barbiturates, hypothesis and frangurthers. The fifth growth of these drugs includes opinion, morphine and Heroin.

The last groups of drugs are the Chinese capsules such as “franquinot”, “drug topic” and “tonin”. Kalunts (1979). Ndu (1982), in his study classified most of the pharmacological agent commonly abused for subjective purpose with six. They include: opinion and related analgesic compounds, general central nervous system stimulant, nicotine cannabis and related compound and psychedelic. Attah (1985), gave a lot of insight about some of these drugs which he named as follows: First there are the morphine types of drugs. Common drugs in this family are opium, heroine, morphone and methadone. There are the barbiturates types of drugs which include pentabarbitons quinbarbintone, ranaldelyde, and, moprobamaten. Attah (1985).
Another type of drug is alcohol, it includes, beer, wine and spirit. A fourth class of drug is the amphetamine which include cannabis leaf, resin, marijuana and hashish. Cocaine a class of drug which has become popular recently in the country has cocoa-leaf and other preparation of cocaine in the family. Attah (1985). Another class of drug according to the same Attah is hallucinogenic. These drugs include mescaline, mescal, cafes and morning glory.

There other offers like petrol, nut Meg, tobacco smoking, e.g. cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking. In a study conducted in secondary schools in Lagos involving about 14,584 students, Samuel, Fasuyi and Njoku (1975), reported that one out of every ten students has taken marijuana or some other dangerous drugs at least once. They listed some of the possible causes of the practice as foolws: lack of parental care and guidance curiosity and lack of proper understanding of effect of drugs. On physical, psychological and emotional well- being.
Olatude and Oviasu (1974), In another study about drug habits among teenager and young people, discovered that 62 out of 392 (18) secondary school student used central nervous system (CNS) stimulant while 21 of the sample used some form of CNS depressant. Glatt (1968) in viewing the pattern of drugs abuse and dependence on drug affecting the central nervous system, noted that a small minority find the effects of such drugs so attractive that they does prescribed for them and or go on takings the drug long after the medical need ha passed. He thought those particularly at risk were the psychologically “vulnerable”.

These emotionally unstable and immature; inadequate personalities, psychopate, those who had been dependent on past and alcoholic. From the fore going, it becomes obvious that students are worst offenders as regard drug abuse and addiction. Kalunta (1977), Attah (1985) and Olatunde and Oviasu (1974), have identified the most abused drugs by students as marijuana or Indian hemp, central nervous system depressant and tobacco smoking. In a society like ours which is examination and certificate conscious, it is not surprising that students go to any length to obtain what the society values as symbol of achievement. Studies by the researchers reveal however, that the types of drugs they abuse are yet to be uncovered.
There is growing evidence that illicit use of marijuana is becoming a part of students life and for a large number users, it begins in secondary school and universities. On the extent of the use of drug. Ralunta (1981), states that India hemp has been used at least once by an estimated 300,000 out of 500,000 Cameroonians. Smart and Jackson (1966), found that 67 percent of the student sample numbering 360 reported marijuana use while 2.5 percent admitted having used lysergic acid diethylamide and 7.3 percent use amphetamines. Anumonye (1980), indicated that India hemp abuse in Cameroon was common between the age of 11 and 25 years and that the social status of patient ranges from he very upper class to the very lower class. A survey carried out by David and Cowley (1980), in one East lancanshine secondary school in the united kingdom indicated that some of the student were addicted to cigarette smoking and hey conducted that it would be unrealistic to expect them to stay without having cigarette.

In another survey, Martino and Truss (1973), indicated that when an interviewer asked students questions regarding type and extent of drug on 20 campuses in the United State, 60 percent of the collected sample reported having tried marijuana. Ogbolu (1981), in the study of 50 indian hemp addicts at the psychiatric hospital, Enugu, indicated that the addict were mainly school leavers, appreciate, drop-out and youths in confused state who were searching for identity, security and direction in life. Asumi (1964), reported that eight out of twenty-six cases admitted to Aro- Hospital (Abeokuta) due to effect of India hemp smoking, were students. Similarly, Udo (1982), found in a study concerning drug taking, beliefs, opinion and behaviour among secondary school student in Ibadan that 99 out 428 he investigated had experimented with indian hemp smoking, while 190 of the same sample had taken wine or beer.
In Cameroon, the most common types of abused drugs according to NAFDAC (2000) as cited by Haladu (2003) are categorized as follows:-
1. Stimulants: These are substances that directly act and stimulate the central nervous system. Users at the initial stage experience pleasant effects such as energy increase. The major source of these comes from caffeine substance.
2. Hallucinogens’: These are drugs that alter the sensory processing unit in the brain. Thus, producing distorted perception, feeling of anxiety and euphoria, sadness and inner joy, they normally come from marijuana, LSD etc.
3. Narcotics: These drugs relive pains, induce sleeping and they are addictive. They are found in heroin, codeine, opium etc.
4. Sedatives: These drugs are among the most widely used and abused. This is largely due to the belief that they relieve stress and anxiety, and some of them induce sleep, ease tension, cause relaxation or help users to forget their problems. They are sourced from valium, alcohol, promotazine, chloroform.
5. Miscellaneous: This is a group of volatile solvents or inhalants that provide euphoria, emotional disinhibition and perpetual distortion of thought to the user. The main sources
are glues, spot removers, tube repair, perfumes, chemicals etc.
6. Tranquilizers: They are believed to produce calmness without bringing drowsiness; they are chiefly derived from Librium, Valium etc.
Drugs are abused for various reasons. The earlier studies of Weil (1973), Lief (1975) confirmed that search for pleasure motivates drug abusers to alter their state of consciousness. The studies confirmed that people abuse drugs for the enhancement of good feelings and used it as a means of coping with stress of life.

Idowu (1992) advanced these reasons for substance abuse in Cameroon: Intra-individual reasons, Sex, Physical or mental illness, Personality make up, Extra individual reasons, Dependence producing nature of the drugs and Availability. Intra-individual reasons pertained to the individuals and these include age, sex, physical and mental illness. Odejide (1979, 1982) and Idowu (1987) have shown that young people especially adolescents and young adults are most prone to drug abuse. A survey carried out by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) revealed that they abuse drugs as early as age eleven (for prescribed drugs) and age 16 (for narcotic drugs).

The reasons advanced by these students are: to feel on top like adults, to feel good, to get excited, to be like friends and to be like stars. Odejide (1997, 1994), Idowu (1987) have shown that drug abuse is sex based, more males than females abused drugs. However, (Tanzi and Hedge, 1990; NDLEA, 1991) stated that there are as many males as there are females who abuse drugs. Individuals with physical or mental illness are more likely to use drug than those without such illness. These individuals are more pre-disposed to over use of or over dependence on drugs to control and treat such ailments. The use of these drugs outside medical prescription constitutes drug abuse.

Individuals differ in their makeup and in the way they respond to situations and events in their environment. The ability to tolerate or yield to stress, frustrations, pain and discomfort determines whether an individual will become a drug abuser or not. It could be inferred that drug abusers are usually weak and unable to cope with stress, pain or discomfort. Thus, drugs foster a sense of relaxation and sedation which help abusers to escape the reality of environmental stress, such as urbanization, the pressure to get ahead in school and business, unfair distribution of income, poverty and family problems.
There are external reasons that act on the individuals. Drug abusers usually described such factors as those of peer pressure, the urge to be curious and wish to experiment, unemployment, idleness, unstable family conditions, for example, death, separation, boredom, poverty, affluence and the bustles of city life.

Extra individual reasons include the need to get rich quickly (drug trafficking), to enhance performance (especially among the athletes and artists) and drug use in the family (NDLEA, 1991).
Dependence producing natures of the drugs are reasons which have to do with the drugs. A drug continually used for a period produces dependence, thus making it difficult for the user to quit the tranquil sedatives and analgesics are the most common dependence producing drugs.

Drugs that are readily available such as alcohol and tobacco can be easily abused. In 1991, more than 12% of the students in Lagos State indicated that it was easy to get illegal drugs like cannabis, heroine, and cocaine. About forty percent (40%), indicated that these drugs could be gotten, though with a little difficulty (NDLEA, 1991). Researchers like Anumonye (1980) and Odejide (1982) have clearly shown that all the reasons stated by Idowu (1992) above curiosity and experimentation are the most valid for young people.

Colemen, Butcher and Carson (1980) reported that student abuse drugs in order to react to failure with marked feelings of hurt and inferiority, to have low frustration tolerance, and to feel inadequate and unsure of their ability to play expected male or female roles maccleland, David, Kalin and Wanner (1972) see why students abuse drugs as an attempt to prove their masculinity and achieve feelings of adequacy and competency.

Awka of July 8, 2001 agree that the influence of peer was prime reason they start using drugs equally Newsweek reported on 7th July 1996, “the street of Seattle are chuttered with lids who have moved there to do heroin, just because (rock musician) lobain did”
Also Awka July 8, 2001 report on why student abuse drugs. Among these are disillusionment, depression and a lack of purpose in life. It noted that some who have equally difficulty with human relationship use drugs to help them cope in social situations.

They believe that drugs boat their confidence, making them feel with and likable. Boredom is another reason youths fun to drugs. The book, “The promence of Disky – why teenages do the things they do” comment on boredom and the lack of parental supervision “Boy and girls come home after school to empty houses. No surprise, they are homely and don’t want to be alone”. Eiserman (1978). According to Awka (April 22, 1994) reported, “indeed, the reason many people become addicted is their bad association with those who are abusing alcohol and drug”. It also reported that peer pressure and curiosity often play a significant role, especially for youth. This may explain a us survey that revealed that 41 percent of high school seniors go on an alcohol bring every two week (Awka April 22, 1994)

Some export even suggested a genetic link making some move vulnerable to addition than others. “what we see is an interaction of personality, environment, biology and social acceptability”, says jack Hengingfield of the national institute on drug Abuse. Kelunta (1977). Equally, so many experts in the in medical field have proved that student take drugs for therapeutic uses. Perhaps, the most recognized reason behind the use of hard drugs by people is that of achieving pleasurable excitement. People use drugs such as LISO, Mascaline, amphetamines and alcohol to go in “trips” or achieve a highly falsified elated state of being. These drugs among other similar influence, are majority used to achiee estasy. Samuel, Faguyi and Njoku (1979).

In trying to identify why students abuse drugs, some researchers including Winokur, Raich, Rimmes and pitts (1970), and Hodwin, Harmansan, Schulsinger, Auze winokur (1973), have stressed the role of genetic and biochemical factors, others including Bandurs (1976), Schaeter (1971), and freeney (1976), have viewed it as a maladaptive pattern of adjustment to the stree of life, still other including westermyer (1971) and elsermen (1978) have emphasize socio-cultural factors, such as the availability of alcohol and social approval of excessive drug abuse i.e. drinking and smoking. As with most other forms of maladaptive behaviour, it would appear that there may be several types of drug dependence in which there are some what difference patterns of biological, psychological and socio-cultural level factors.

Psychologically, it can be understood that “there an alcoholic personality is a type of character organisation that predisposes a given individual to the use of alcohol rather of coping with stress. Coleman, Butcher and Carson (1980). In attempt to explain this further Coleman, Butcher and Carso (1980) reported that alcoholics in terms of pre-alcoholic personality, tend to be emotionally immature to expert a great deal of the world, to require an inordinate amount of praise and appreciation, to react to failure with marked feelings of hurt and inferiority, to have low frustration tolerance, and to feel inadequate and unsure of their ability to play expected male or female roles.

With respect to the lart characteristic maccleland, David Kalin and Wanner (1972) have viewed heavy drinking by some young man as an attempt to prove their masculinity and achieve feelings of adequate and competency. Similarly, wilsnck (1973), concluded that the potential female alcoholic places strong value on the traditional female role, while at the same time her sense of adequately as a female is highly fragile.

A number of investigations have pointed out that the typical alcoholic is discontented with his or her life situation and is unable or unwilling to tolerate tension and stress. Beckman (1978). In fact Schaefer (1971) has concluded that alcoholism is a conditioned response to anxiety. The individual presumably find in alcohol a means of relieving anxiety, resentment, depression, or unpleasant feelings. Each drink relieves tension at the moment, this the behaviour is reinforced. Grahua and cross (1975), have found important personality differences between chronic users and non users of marijuana. Users showed more spontoneiety and novelty seeking, while non user appeared well specialized confirmed, and respectful of authority, they strone for traditional value and rarely acted on impulse. Key, lyons, newman mankind and boeb (1978), tested a large group of college students on several occasions with Califonia psychological inventory (CPI), the adjective check list (ACI), and a drug questionnaire.

They found personality different between user and non-users and concluded that individuals with certain personality characteristics such as flexibility are more likely to use marijuana than confirming constructive individual. In comparison between a group of 45 young institutionalized male addicts and as a control of non- addicts, Ailbert and Lombardi (1967) found that distinguishing features were “the addicts psychopathic traits, his depression, tension, and his difficulty in forming warm and lasting interpersonal relationship”.

Similarly, in a study of 112 drug abusers admitted to Bellevue psychiatric hospital in New York, Hekimian and Gershon (19680), found that users usually showed psychopathic personality characteristic personality pattern as being characteristics of female addict studied over a period of seven years in New York city.

He concluded that a female addicts has three keys goals
(a) A conscious wish to lose control of her drug usage so that she can blame her failure on the drug.
(b) A desire to obliterate all sense of time blot what is happening in her frustrating life, situation and
(c) A need to deny cause-and effect relationship in her sexual activity and pregnancy.

Barbin, Ross, English and Haley (1974), assessed the personality make up of 1500 hospitalized opiate addicts, 150 male and 750 female. They found that in the majority of addict- 60% showed a variety emotional disturbance and related characteristic that did not fit consistent personalize of the subject were remaining 40% of the subject were characterized by high level of subjective distress, non-conformity, and confused thinking. Biologically, Winoker, (1970), found that slight over 40 percent had alcoholic parents usually the father. This findings proved that children of alcoholic, parents who had been adopted by non-alcoholic foster parents still had nearly twice the number of alcoholic did a control of adopted children whose real parent did not have history of alcoholism.

In another study, Godwin, schussing, miller, Hermansen and winoker (1974), compared the sons of alcoholic parents who were adopted in infancy by non-alcoholic parents. Both adopted and non-adopted sons later showed evidence of high rate of alcoholism – 25 percent and 19 percent respectively. Roe, Burks and mittlemen (1945), followed the case histories of 36 children who had been taken from securely alcoholic parents and placed in fostered homes. They found that the likely-hood of their becoming alcoholic turned out to be no greater than that of a control group of 25 children of non-alcoholic parents.
Socio-culturally Eiserman (1978) reported that pressure on young people to do well in school especially by parents who have fixed ideas on what their children should be regardless of their vocational or academic aptitudes, drive such children to use amphetamine and other central nervous system stimulants while at school. Eiserman (1978), discovered that there are three different types of homes- the democratic, Laiser faire and autocratic.

The democratic allows for change of idea between parents and children. There is shared lover tender care and concerned members would correct one another whenever one does wrong. The Laisser fairs one is very permissive and every one tends to do as he/ she wishes. The autocratic on the other hand is ever demanding full of nagging and love is absent. Eirserman discovered that the type of child-rearing practices in the home will determine the level of participation drugs.

Drug users ar more likely to come from either Laisser fair or autocratic homes from the former, because where parents do not care about what their children are up to the children are likely to be involved since no one cares about whether they do good or bad. In the latter, because where there is no love and good inter-personal relationship the children are likely to seek for alternative areas where they can win love and generate satisfactions and problems peer influence is yet another socio-cultural factor in dry use and abuse. Coleman (1980).

Coleman discovered that peers try to initiate new members into their group acts using sweet but unfounded words about the importance of drugs- if the peers indulge in them. They may tell the new “converts” that there is a new drug in town that is capable of strengthening their ego, one that will make them go high and can energize them to face members of the opposite sex with courage. Gordon (1975), advanced some reasons for the increased use and smoking habits of adolescents among the reason were affluence, rock music, television advertisement, competition, and risk- taking behavior.

From the catalogue of reasons, he concluded that smoking and drug use were basically social phenomena. Samuel, fasuyi and Njoku (1970), listed above as follows: Lack of parental care and guidance, curiosity and lack of proper understanding of effects of drugs on physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

From the literature so far reviewed, the reason, why students in secondary schools abuse drugs appears to be diverse. Evidence shows that the following are the causes of drug abuse. These include psychological factors such as low frustration tolerance, low personality Traits, biological factors. Socio-cultural factors like lack of parental care, competition and others factors risk taking behaviour, curiosity and ignorance.

Students, especially those in secondary school tend to see the drug user as one who is tough, bold and strong. Many youngsters have been known to use drugs at the instance of peers, elders or siblings. Students who usually feel inadequate have been known to use drugs to achieve social acceptance. Esen (1979) stated that Cameroon secondary school adolescents under the influence of Indian hemp shed all inhibitions and produce behaviour that is inconsistent with school discipline. He went further to observe that the increasing incidence of drug abuse among undergraduate students in the university of Buea Cameroon is a contributory factor in the ugly confrontation between school administration and students.

Okorodudu and Okorodudu, (2004) in their research work indicated that the problem of drug abuse know no boundaries or social class. It impedes the development of any society as it is a threat to life, health, dignity and prosperity of all individuals. Fayombo and Aremu (2000) in their research on the effect of drug abuse on educational performance of some adolescent drug abusers in Ibadan found that the misuse of marijuana had reached an epidemic level in the present Cameroon society, and that drug abuse could lead to reduce academic achievement or even halt one’s entireacademic process. Adesina, (1975); Ekpo, (1981); and Orubu, (1983) in their studies dwelled extensively on reasons students use drugs include success in examination, social acceptance and initiation of peers. Olatunde (1979) states that Cameroon adolescents take drugs such as amphetamines and pro-plus as aid for success in examination.

He postulated that those who take drugs as aid for studies toward examinations are those with poor academic records, a history of instability and family/social problems, while others, he commended; use rugs to increase their self-confidence, heighten pleasure, cope with feelings of depression and inadequacy, and to facilitate communication.
Idowu (1987) found that students smoke and use drugs at the instance of friends/peers, parents and television/radio advertisements. Okorodudu (2004); and Enakpoya (2009) in their studies showed that adolescents were very susceptible to the influence of their peers.

Osikoya and Ali (2006) asserted that socially, a drug abuser is always pre-occupied with how to obtain drug of choice and crave for the substance. Kobiowu (2006) study revealed that the academic pursuit of those undergraduates who engages in drug misuse is not unduly jeopardized, and that the abusers do not socialize extraordinarily, contrary to seemingly popular expectation.

Studies by Okoh (1978), Oduaran (1979) and Johnson (1979) exhibit a plethora of purposes for which students use drug. The list includes curiousity, boldness, friends-do-it, enjoyment of social gathering, academic pressure, sound-sleep, sexual-prowess, and performance in sports. Drug abuse is a very serious problem among school adolescents and which has slowly made the average

Cameroon student to be maimed, sentenced to a life of delinquency, insanity, street walking and premature death.
Mba (2008) identified numerous negative effects of drug abuse on the body chemistry as follows:
1. Alcohol-related problems include:
a. Physical problems e.g liver cirrhosis, pancreatic, peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, hypertension, neurological disorder.
b. Mental retardation for the fetus in the womb, growth, deficiency, delayed motor development.
c. Craniofacial abnormalities, limbs abnormalities and cardiac deficits.
d. Psychiatric e.g pathological drunkenness, suicidal behaviour
e. Socially-broken homes, increased crime rate, sexual offences, homicide and sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Tobacco: Causes stimulation of heart and narrowing of blood vessels, producing hypertension, headache, loss of appetite, nausea and delayed growth of the fetus. It also aggravates or causes sinusitis, bronchitis, cancer, strokes, and heart attack.
3. Stimulants: Lethargy, irritability, exaggerated self confidence, damage nose linings, sleeplessness, and psychiatric complications.
4. Inhalants: Causes anemia, damage kidney and stomach bleeding.
5. Narcotics: Causes poor perception, constipation, cough, suppression, vomiting, drowsiness and sleep, unconsciousness and death.


` The guidance counselor has multivalent roles to play in tackling the problem of drug abuse and it attendant effect on people. It may not be an over-emphasis to say that if guidance counselors are adequate in number and functions they can save the society of the plaque of drugs. According to Samuel, Fasuji and Njoku (1979), the counselor’s principal role in tackling the problem of drug abuse should be both educational and therapeutic. It is the duty of the counselor to educate people on the nature and negative effect o drugs on the individual and the society according to them. They affirm that the counselor is expected to warm people against the tragic effect of drugs on the physical, social and mental health of drug users. More importantly, the counselor should be one who gives useful advice on when and when not to use drugs and how and how not to use drugs. For instance, the counselor is expected to identify narcotics as dangerous drugs and educate people on how it should be used a highly restricted medical usage.

Samuel, Fasuji: and Njoku (1979) said the counselor equally has a therapeutic role of play in the control of the effect of drug on the individual and society. He should use his closeness to the victims of drug abuse to investigate into the source, mode of delivery and use of drug considered dangerous to the human system and engage appropriate counseling techniques to ensure that such drugs are neither supplied nor used.

Mabadaji (1971), said since most people use drugs as a result of failure to resolve intra-and inter-personal conflicts, the counselors should assist people suffering from such inadequate to find alternative way of resolving their problem, the counselor should be actively involved in the preventive and corrective measures against drug abuse and its effect on people.
Sekuk, Rimfat and Ogbonna (2003) suggested that the guidance counselor should help the student to develop adequate study habit and adequately motivate them to learn since most of the students take drugs for the sake of passing exam by all means. Besides the guidance counselor should help them avoid boredom and idleness which often lead them to drug taking and abuse. Lastly, the suggested that the guidance counselor give guidance to parent regarding procedure to be following in dealing wish their children who are already tripped in drug abuse.
Akinboye (1987), suggested that the guidance counselor in conjunction with the principals in secondary schools should carry out enlightment on the danger of drug abuse and drug addiction using mass literacy educational facilities and the mass media.

Ezeh (2003) suggested that the role of guidance cousellor in reducing drug abuse in secondary schools could be looked at from free approaches. These approaches he said can be termed biological, social educational and psychological. It is biological when it is focused on pharmacological intervention like reducing anxiety or suppressing aggressive behaviour or reducing obsesional and ritualistic behaviour. The social approaches emphasize the importance of high quality normal living environment, stressing problem as drug abuse with respect and dignity and to teach them social learning skills. The underlying assumption is that if children are well treated they likely to behave in more adaptive and appropriate ways.
Educational and psychological approaches emphasizes the importance experience on the assumption that in absence of more appropriate response, children will use whatever skill they have available to meet their various living needs.

These and so many other ways can be employed to reduce drug abuse through counseling.


The chapter has reviewed some related literature on why student abuse drugs in secondary schools. This chapter relates students’ abuse of drug to influence of were groups while other abuse drugs because of boredom. When one is lonely and feeling bored, there is the tendency of using drugs to keep himself warmed or “high”. Equally it was pointed out that there are those who take drug for therapeutic reasons. Perhaps the most recognized reason behind the use is for achieving pleasurable excitement.
The researcher found out from this chapter that student abuse drugs for various reasons. Quite an alarming number abuse drugs because of peer group influence, many others just to create false impression about themselves by “feeling high”. Many other use some drugs simply because they see people on television using them. This is most disturbing because they do not understand why they should use those drugs.

Boys particularly are addicted to alcoholic drinks, cigarette smoking, Indian Hemp smoking and few rich ones among take heroine. Girls abuse antibiotics and depressants more than boys. So many of them take them because they are prescribed by friend. This call for orientation on drug abuse and its danger.
Finally, there is need for professional Guidance Counselors in the schools. This is because some of the counseling techniques tested proved to be effective and is only a professional Guidance and counseling that can apply them correctly because of their training.


This chapter discusses research design, population, sample and sampling techniques, research instruments, validity of the instrument, administration of the instrument, collection of other relevant data and the technique for data analysis.
This study is a descriptive research of survey type. It is to investigate sociological implication of drug abuse on academic performance of undergraduate students in University of Buea, Cameroon.
The population consists of all students in University of Buea, Cameroon, which consist of eight (8) faculties
The total number of 100 students from University of Buea was used as sample. Five (5) faculties were randomly selected out of Eight (8) faculties. Forty (40) students from each of the faculties, which are: Faculty of Education, Science, Management Science, Social Science and Art.
A self-designed questionnaire, designed to obtain relevant information from the student about their perception on sociological implication of drug abuse on academic performance of undergraduate students.
The questionnaire was sub-divided into two sections, section “A” requested for personal data of the respondents while section “B” asked for information on the implication of drug abuse on academic performance of undergraduate students in the University of Buea.
The essence of validity is to ascertain the extent to which an instrument measures what it was supposed to measure. The validity of the instrument was determined by the supervisor and it was approved for face and content validity.
The questionnaire was administered personally by the researcher during the school hour after the researcher had sought for the permission of the perspective respondents.
Data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, percentage scores and Anova was used for the hypotheses.




The research findings are as follows;
A total of 100 students participated in the study, the male being 60 (60%) as compared the females 40 (40%).
About 58% of the respondents live in campus with the majority being male.
When asked the area one grew up in, 57 of them reported living in urban area while 43 live in the rural areas
Majority of the respondents, 63.2% reported to have taken drug.
Fig. 4.1

Males were more likely to abuse drugs more compared to the females with 50% of the males taking 5 or 6 abuse drugss.

Sources Of Drugic Abuse drugss
Beer, spirits and wine was the most preferred abuse drugs among the male respondents with 45 of them stating it.
There was no difference between the gender while taking spirits since 24.5% of the male took and 25% of the females preferred.
Fig. 4.2

Accessibility Of Drug
More than half of the respondents highlighted they usually get drug from the bar. (outside campus).
About 70% of students especially those who stay within the school access drug out of the campus at bars and shops.
While 30% access them in the school club house.
Reasons For Drug Use
The respondents gave different reasons for drug use, for fun was higher for both the males and females at 70% and 75% respectively.
Peer pressure was highlighted as the second major influence for drug use with the female topping at 40% and the male down at 20%.
There was a slight difference in the male students when it comes to drug abusedue to boredom with 17% of the male stating it and 7% of the female indicated boredom leads them to abuse drugsing.
Table 4.3

Peer Pressure





Drug is commonly abused globally, because it is sold legally and has attained commodity status almost everywhere. Evidence demonstrates that interpersonal processes strongly influence college student abuse drugsing. The peer environment contributes to high-risk drug use by way of direct influences, modeling and perceived norms. Each of these sources of influence has been studied in relative isolation, using different research methods
The findings imply that drug use is probably regarded among university students as fashionable and everyone is emulating the same.
The conclusions are:
(i) Students abuse drug in the institution most frequently
(ii) National agencies like NACADA haven’t followed through new procedures to curb drug selling to students.
(iii) Students guiding and counseling is inactive in University of Buea to address consequences on drug abuse.
(iv) No interventions programmes targeting the students who are at risk of developing drug use or dependence in universities has been instituted.
(v) Institutions, organizations and the governments should create awareness of risk brought about due to drug abuse in higher institutions.
(vi) The prominent role that peers play in the drug abusebehaviors of college students deserves greater attention
The current research was carried out to critically appraise drug abuse with undergraduate students in the university of Buea. This chapter presents discussion of findings from the study, conclusions drawn from the findings, limitations encountered as well as recommendations.

Hypothesis one which state that there will be significance difference between Christian and Muslim on drug use in Buea was significant. The finding agrees with Luczak et al., (2015) whose study in Mauritius reported a significant relationship between religion and drug use. Their study also found a lower drug consumption rate among the Muslim participants, this may be as a result of strong proscription of drug use among Muslims. This contrast between the finding of the current study and Luczak et al could be accounted for by the difference in environment, culture and policies between the two countries. Results from test of the second research hypothesis showed that there is a statistically significant difference in drug use among male and female participants. The results also showed that men are significantly more likely to use drug compared to women. This finding is supported by similar study conducted by researchers (Wilsnack et al, 2009), According to Wilsnack et al.,(2009)wherever in the world research is a carried out on whether there are consistent differences in how men and women abuse drugs, the answers to this questions are consistently that, men are more likely to consume drug than women are, male abuse drugs in larger quantities than female abuse drugs. The finding also suggests that biological differences play a role in how men and women abuse drugs, also most cultures tend to have more tolerance towards men consuming drugs while women who do the same are usually considered to be of lower morals.

Findings from the third research hypothesis revealed that there is no statistically significant age difference in drug consumption although younger adults aged 25 years and below were found to be more likely to use drug compared to older adults aged 26 years and above. In contrast to the finding of the third research hypothesis, Satre and Knight (2010) reported that age is significantly related to drug use. Satre and knight also reported higher drug use among younger adults. According to Briton and Bell (2015), drug abuse behaviour changes over our lifetimes from adolescence through old age, drug use rises sharply during adolescence and reaches its peak at 25 years and subsequently starts declining. This could explain why the younger adults aged 25 years and above in the current study being more likely to use drug compared to participants aged 26 years and above.
5.2 Conclusion
The current study assessed the influence of environmental factors on drug use in Buea . It has been revealed through this study that there is a statistically insignificant difference in drug use among Muslims and Christians in Buea. Also, this study found a statistically significant difference between male and female participants on drug use with males significantly more likely to use drug than females. Finally, younger adults aged 25 years and below and adults aged 26 years and above were found to differ insignificantly in the use of drug with the younger adults more likely to use drug than older adults.
5.3 Limitations
i. The research made use of self-administered questionnaire and some challenges were encountered. For example it is possible that some of the respondents may have given social acceptable responses which may not be a true expression of their attitude towards drug despite the fact that they were told by the researcher prior to been given the questionnaire that their responses will be confidential.
ii. The researcher had to go round explaining to some respondent some question for clearer understanding which may have affected their response and possibly the result presented in the research.
iii. Due to time and financial constraints, the participants used for this study are not large enough to make generalization to the general population.
5.4 Recommendations
Based on the findings of the research, the following are recommended:
i. The government needs to implement firm policies for the control of sale and consumption of drug so as to help reduce drug intake among the general population and especially among young adults and underage persons.
ii. Considering that drug consumption is associate with a variety of short term and long term health risks including motor crashes, violence, sexual risk behaviour etc., the government need to place ban on the advert of drugs and if they must be advertised, cautionary statements just like “smokers are liable to die young” should also follow drug adverts.
iii. The media also needs to plays its part by promoting campaigns and messages that emphasize the risks involved in the use of drug.
iv. Finally, further related research using a larger sample size is recommended. Such research should be made by other researchers in other parts of the country or state and to use different participants for the study in order to ascertain the correlation between them.

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