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assessment of the influence of broadcast media campaigns on drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis


Project topic for Mass Communication department

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

The Broadcast media holds substantial promise as a tool for reaching and persuading people to adopt new and healthier lifestyles. This has long been recognized by those interested in prevention of drug abuse and in other unhealthy behaviours. Drug abuse is a term used commonly when prescription medication with sedative, anxiolytic, analgesic, or stimulant properties are used for mood alteration or intoxication ignoring the fact that overdose of such medicines have serious adverse effects. The use of broadcast media campaigns as a drug abuse and control prevention intervention is relatively strategic and a right step in the right direction. Media invention is common, but it is not without controversy. The use of broadcast media campaigns to reduce health problems in society gained momentum in the 1970s, with an initial focus on improving cardiovascular health. The positive results obtained by the first campaigns led to their further use in areas as diverse heart disease, cancer HIV/AIDS prevention, family planning and domestic violence. From the 1970s on, media campaigns were increasingly used in the prevention of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2013).       Every government, no matter its policy recognizes role of the media in combating drug abuse. Undoubtedly, the media makes a greater contribution towards societal improvements. So with this in mind and the features and types already mentioned above, it can rightly be said that the media is the hub that holds the wheel of society together and it has a role to play in combating the various scourge that afflicts  man today and one of such problem that has threatened the existence of man is drug abuse (Atkin, 2009).

            Nigeria has many serious problems, which have very serious health, social and economic implications on the society. According to Anekwe (2014,p.32), a higher percentage of our teenagers within the age bracket of eighteen (18) and youth between the age of twenty five (25) and twenty eight years (28) have tried one drug or the other. A high percentage of those admitted of mental related problem also come from the same group. Thus the drug epidemic is gradually eroding the manpower base and the future of Nigeria.

            Drug abuse is not  just about taking drugs with the medical doctors prescription but also about the students who cannot read without taking unsweetened coffee, kola-nut or pills. It is also about filter lover who turns to the use of drugs for sexual enhancing performance. The business executive who must smoke to be able to work, the retrenched worker who floods his veins with extraneous substances to forget his sorrows and adventures, who tries to get high because others are doing it. Thus drug abuse is not just about misusing of drugs but the use of any chemical substances that has an effect on the body and they include, India hemp, cannabis and heroine cocaine, from the hemp plant, (Anekwe, 2014).

            In the past and in the present, there have been advertisement, campaigns, announcement, and a public outcry against certain hard drugs, their effects and dangers through different broadcast media like television, radio, with such a slogan as “say no to drugs, drugs kill,”  a drug free child is the pride of the parents,” “lend a hand in ridding Nigeria of hard drugs”, will you try anything?. You may never get off the hook” “avoid drug trafficking. You may end up behind bars” and so many others. The above slogans and many similar ones are some examples of the campaign against drug and drug trafficking both from government and private agencies to help agencies to preserve life rather than to destroy it (Aliu, 2014).

            According to Romer (2004, p.1073), the broadcast media campaigns to alter risky behaviour are seen increasingly as a critical adjunct to school-based programmes and community-wide interventions". To what extent is this widespread faith in the power of the media justified? Although the early history of broadcast-media campaigns, particularly those involving health, was largely one of failure, the promise of reaching large audiences has led to continued efforts, a sharpening of design methodologies, and more realistic campaign expectations. These more sophisticated efforts, combined with more powerful evaluation methodologies, provide evidence that media health campaigns can be effective in changing beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and even behaviours, when properly designed (Rogers, 2007).

            More rigorous techniques of formative process, and summative evaluation, coupled with more powerful statistical tools, have detected a variety of campaign effects. Such research generally shows that coupling media with other kinds of interventions is more successful than either media or non media efforts alone. There is growing evidence, however, that when used correctly, broadcast media alone can have significant positive impacts on health-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours (Flora, 2009).  

There is no limit to the study of media and society. Media and society as a subject covers a wide range of issues. Communication has a lot to do with the individual. It is effects and defects are so notable that they cannot be swept under the carpet. Media and society are interwoven and neither of them can exist without the other. But first of all, what is communication? Fiske (1990) defines communication as “social interaction through message” Jaya- weera (1991) sees it as an interaction process through which persons or groups relate to each other and share information, experience and culture. Looking at the above definitions, communication can be said to be the transferring or transmitting of ideas, attitudes and information from one person to another.

Okunna (1999) throws more light on the above assertion when she says “to communicate basically means to share ideas, information, opinions, feelings or experiences between people. According to Okunna (1999), the mass media perform a number of functions, which benefit the individual as a member of a society. She goes on to say that these functions range from serious informational and educational functions to lighter functions

The mass media is known as the watch dog of the society and with the information and education function, it will be known if the mass media has played roles in the campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria. This is because like the dry rot that eats away the wooden beams of a house, drugs can corrode the whole structure of society. For human society to function properly, it must have stable families, healthy workers, trustworthy governments, honest polices and law abiding citizens. Drugs corrupt each of these fundamental elements. The home however is probably where drugs do most of the damage. Parents who are distracted by their craving for drugs rarely provide their children with a stable home life. Many children who grow up in this environment take to the streets or even get involved in drugs themselves.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Drug abuse among teenagers has become rampant in our society and this has posed a problem because a society filled with drug addicts and drug dependents cannot move forward. A nation filled with people who misuse, abuse or are addicted to drugs will have a high rate of increase in crime, prostitution etc. It also makes way for drug trafficking in the society. It constitutes a major public health hazard and is a part of general and social disorganization we see around us that breeds comatose patients, and various melody cases that constitute the urban eyesore that dent the image of a nation. It contributes significantly to breakdown of law and order and establishment of various circles of abuses, deficiency, criminality and further abuse.

Drug abuse has also led to the diversion of scarce resources to cure addicts, and to rehabilitate them, building of psychiatric hospitals, breakdown of societal norms and values, leading to up heavily, anarchy and other vices in the society, posing more problem than can be solved. Such problems call for in-depth research to help salvage the situation to avoid the setback it created for our society and this has to be done with the help of the mass media in order to inform and educate the people on what drug abuse can cause to the society, and to the people involved.

Despite the fact that the federal and state governments in Nigeria embanked on the use of various media outlets to combat drug abuse among teenagers in the country, yet such media campaigns have not abated the incidence of drug abuse in Nigeria. There is therefore the need to access the influence of broadcast media campaigns on drug abuse among youngsters in Enugu metropolis to ascertain the extent of success or failure of such campaigns.

More so, the way most cynics, public affairs analysis and commentators perceive the persistence of this social malaise despite the concerted efforts made by various regimes/administration in Nigeria to stamp it out vis-à-vis the criticisms that greeted poor execution of such media campaigns in recent years have not been adequately evaluated.

The import is that not much empirical studies have been done to ascertain the degree of success or otherwise of such campaigns against this debilitating social problem .indeed few studies carried out in the area are limited in scope. By implication not much has been done to ascertain the quantum of such success or failure recorded by media campaigns carried out against this social problem the researcher considered this a major gap in knowledge which the present study aims at filling.

The burden of the study, therefore, was to empirically assess the inherence of broadcast media campaigns on drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study was to assess the influence of broadcast media companying’s on drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis

In Specific terms, the study serfs out to:

i.          Find out the level or influence broadcast media campaign moss apes have on teenagers that take illicit drugs in Enugu metropolis.

ii.         Ascertain how broadcast media campaign messages dissuade teenagers in Enugu metropolis from taking illicit drugs. 

iii.        Ascertain the level of awareness or broadcast campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis.

iv.        To investigate the extent broadcast media campaigns dissuade teenagers in Enugu metropolis from taking illicit drugs. 

v.         Ascertain the challenges facing broadcast media outfit in conveying campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse to teenagers in Enugu metropolis.

vi.        Suggest remedies that would help discourage teenagers from taking illicit drugs.  

1.4       Research Questions.

            The following questions were raised by the researcher as a guide to addressing the above issues:

1.         What is the level of influence broadcast media campaign messages have on teenagers in Enugu metropolis that indulge in drug abuse?

2.         How do broadcast media campaigns messages influence teenage drug addicts in Enugu metropolis? 

3.         What is the level of awareness of broadcast media campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis?

4.         To what do broadcast media campaigns dissuade teenagers in Enugu metropolis from taking illicit drugs?

5.         What are the challenges facing broadcast media outfit in conveying campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse to teenagers in Enugu metropolis?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

            The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:       

Hypothesis One

Ho: Broadcast media campaign messages do not exert high degree of influence on teenagers in Enugu metropolis that take illicit drugs.

Hi: Broadcast media campaign messages exert high degrees of influence on teenagers in Enugu metropolis that take illicit drugs.

Hypothesis Two

Ho: Broadcast media campaign messages that are not critical of drug abuse do not compel teenagers in Enugu metropolis to refrain from taking illicit drugs.

Hi: Broadcast media campaign messages that are critical of drug abuse critical of drug abuse.

 Hypothesis Three

Ho: There is no increased level of awareness of broadcast media campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis.

Hi: There is increased level of awareness of broadcast media campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis.

Hypothesis Four 

Ho: Broadcast media campaign messages to a minimal extent dissuade teenagers in Enugu metropolis from taking illegal drugs.

Hi: Broadcast media campaign messages to a very large extent dissuade teenagers in Enugu metropolis from taking illegal drugs.

 Hypothesis five

H0: challenges ranging from ownership -cum- control of mass media, unethical practices among Journalists to threat to per tonal safety are obstacles facing, broadcast media outfit in conveying campaign message on the dangers of drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis

H1: Challengers ranging from ownership –cum- control of mass media, unethical practices among Journalists to personal safety are obstacles facing broadcast media outfit in conveying campaign messages on the dangers of drug abuse among teenagers in Enugu metropolis

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study cannot be over-emphasized. Drug abuse has been in the media for a very long time and much has been written and government is worried about it. Large amount of money are expended to rehabilitate victims of drug abuse. This research is done in order to alert the society about drug abuse and the impact it has to the society. And also to engage the media to be faithful allies to reap the society off this problem. This is because a country with healthy citizens will have a good work force which in turn boosts the economy of that country. This study will also show the people the work and part the mass media is playing to combat this problem.

Finally the research work will be of help to scholars who wish to carry further research on influence of broadcast media companying’s on drug abuse among teenagers as the material of the work will be of great importance for enquiries.

Furthermore, this report will add to the existing literature in the subject matter.

1.7 Definition of Terms

ASSESSMENT:- the process of making a judgment or forming an opinion, after considering something or someone carefully

Influence: to affect or change someone or something in an indirect but usually important way." Something or someone that influences a person or thing, then, has an influence on that person or thing. A crucial aspect of influence is the emotional connection you make with people. True influence involves building trust and a relationship, getting those people to align their views and values with your own for long-term gain.

Broadcast media campaign: a planned series of newspaper and other printed material, radio, billboards, articles, television interviews, etc. that are intended to achieve a particular aim and Broadcast media campaign has an important role in information delivery to a vast majority of the population. Broadcast media campaign can be effectively used for counter advertising and health information delivery. Depending on the country one medium could be more effective than others.

Broadcast Media: transmit information electronically via media such as films, radio, recorded music, or television. Digital media comprises both Internet and mobile mass communication. Internet media comprise such services as email, social media sites, websites, and Internet-based radio and television.

Drug abuse: The use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in large amounts. Drug abuse may lead to social, physical, emotional, and job-related problems.

1.8       Scope of the Study.

The study covers the assessment of the influence of broadcast media campaign on drug among teenagers in Enugu metropolis.

1.9 Limitations of the Study

This study has some limitations. There is the problem of data scarcity because it was not easy for the researcher to get as much information needed. This research required a lot of money, if it had to be extensive and elaborate, such amount of money was not at the disposal of the researcher. Finally, because the study was carried out during the period school was in session, it placed some constraints on the researcher. Other academic works also placed much demand on the researchers time. Consequently, the limited time at the disposal of the researcher was shared between these tasks. There was not too much time for the researcher as it has to be carried out within a time schedule.

In spite of these constraining factors, the researcher and her assistants made sufficient efforts to ensure that these obstacles did not hamper the overall realization of the goals, and validly of the study.


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