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This study focuses on the causes and consequences of drug abuse among students at the University of Buea in Cameroon. The research used a descriptive phenomenological design and qualitative research methods. Interviews were conducted with 10 undergraduate students from each faculty in the Molyko vicinity of the university. The findings revealed that the overall prevalence of substance use was 84%, with 29% engaging in multiple substance use. The most commonly used substances were tobacco, devil stone, tramadol, and cannabis. The primary cause of substance use was stress relief, and the main effects included delinquent behavior, poor academic performance, health issues, and abandonment. Peers were identified as the primary source of substance use. The study concludes that comprehensive and long-term intervention plans are necessary to address this problem.

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Background Context of the Study

Drug abuse refers to the non-medical use of drugs that can result in physical, social, and emotional harm. Throughout history, drugs and substances have been used for medicinal purposes, with the knowledge of specific plants and their uses being passed down through generations. The use and abuse of drugs have a long history globally, with various substances being utilized for different purposes. In Cameroon, cannabis, locally known as “banga,” has a significant presence and usage among the population. Despite being illegal, cannabis usage is common, particularly among young people, including students.

The effects of drug abuse have become a pervasive problem in society, affecting students in the Buea municipality and specifically the University of Buea. Factors such as curiosity, peer pressure, personality problems, frustration, lack of parental supervision, and stress contribute to drug abuse among students. This, in turn, affects their academic performance and diverts their time and energy away from studies.

Cameroon has made efforts to address the issue of drug abuse in collaboration with external organizations and governments. However, drug abuse, including the use of substances such as tramadol, cocaine, marijuana, solvents, benzodiazepines, inhalants, sedatives, hallucinogens, narcotics, and tobacco, remains prevalent among university students. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the causes and consequences of drug abuse among students at the University of Buea.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Drug abuse has become deeply ingrained in the lives of students, with drugs readily available and easily accessible in Buea. The prevalence of drug abuse among students has significant implications, leading to issues such as student violence, poor academic performance, university dropouts, and health problems. Moreover, drug abuse poses risks to the individual and society, including the contraction of diseases, anti-social behavior, indiscipline, and threats to security. It has also been linked to school unrest, violence, absenteeism, truancy, and irresponsible behavior. The consequences of drug abuse can be severe, ranging from addiction, disability, and death to economic, social, psychological, and moral health consequences.

The objective of this research is to examine the types, causes, and consequences of drug abuse among students at the University of Buea. By understanding these factors, effective measures can be implemented to address the issue and mitigate its impact.

1.3 Research Objectives

The main objective of this study is to examine the types, causes, and consequences of drug abuse among students at the University of Buea. The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To identify the drugs that are most commonly abused among students at the university.
  2. To investigate the causes of drug abuse among students at the university.
  3. To explore the sociocultural effects of drug abuse among students at the university.


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