The phenomena of using performance-enhancing substance was predominant is the past decade among young adults, especially students of tertiary level education. As this decade is passing, performance-enhancing substances are often being substituted with drugs. LaBotz, Bernard and Griesemer (2016) claim to see a decrease in the overall usage of performance-enhancing substances over the last 15 years, which further enhance the possibility of the substitution phenomena. Drug is a substance used for its narcotic or stimulant effects, often illegally. Drugs can be injected, inhaled or consumed. Of all the drugs available, only a few are very commonly used by tertiary level students. The most popular drugs are cannabis, popularly known as marijuana, cocaine, also known as coke and diamorphine which is heroin. The usage of drugs are usually driven by several factors and often lead to negative effects such as a drop in academic performance, being judged and devalued by society and physical and mental deterioration.
Firstly, students consume drugs because of peer. The foremost reasoning put forth by drug abusers is this norm acts as a mediator to make new friends and be accepted in a friend circle while strengthening the bond among them (Patrick, Fairlie & Lee, 2017; Pearson, Hustad, Neighbors, Conner & Bravo, 2017). Students are very much concerned about others’ judgements. They tend to take up drugs to fit in or to be liked by others. Peer pressure does contribute to the usage of drugs actively and students are often teased and bullied for avoiding drugs. This happens more commonly among boys. Clearly peer pressure plays an important role in consuming drugs in students.
Secondly, family plays an important role in lading them to use drugs. In most cases, drugs addicts are formed in a family of alcoholics (Meda et al., 2017). Besides, a drug addicts’ first move often always start with a tobacco which came up from their parents. This grows into the habit of consumption of alcohol and eventually lead to drugs abuse (Garner, 2016). This is the fundamental root cause of the phenomena of drug abuse among students. This is habitually driven by the mentality of the young adults who get excited and curious about trying out new things. New users are usually carried away by the so called benefits and advantages of drug usage such as to sleep, calm down, cure boredom and cope with anxiety (Patrick et al., 2017), LaBotz et al. (2016). Parenthood should be a good example to them so that the students won’t get in trouble later on.
Despite usage drugs have some negative effects on students. Drug abuse in students leads to poor academic performance. Drug usage leads to poorer attention, cognitive behavior and abstract reasoning, which are the basic necessities of a student (Garner, 2016; Meda et al., 2017). Furthermore, followed by a drop in IQ level, students failed to reach their expected IQ level even after continuous abstinence (Meda et al., 2017). The influence on academic performance can affect the lifestyle of a student in long-term as they will be failing as a graduate and will eventually end up with no proper job and source of income. They will be looked upon as an incapable person and eventually, this leads them to be considered as a trash among the society. Over and above that, users claimed to be judged and devalued about their behavior by the society (Garner, 2016). In a nutshell, drugs can affect their academic performance.
Apart from academic performance drug usage also change their behavior by the society. Though many benefits of drugs are being used spread all over and the usage of drug has widespread, society still looks down on drug users as drugs are still illegal. This is further proven by some users who prefer to keep their usage of drugs as a secret due to legal stigma and to avoid stereotype to avoid being judged or devalued as an educated person (Garner,2016). For instance, drug usage can lead to contrary cognitive behavior and neurological sequelae in adolescents particularly when vital structural changes are occurring in the brain (Garner, 2016). This might lead to some serious disease in the near future. Though drugs are used to treat several medical illnesses, the unnecessary usage of drugs does not live the user unharmed. Most importantly, the condition of the abuser’s mental gets effected faster than their physical health. Drugs eventually will change the view of drug users and they tend to look down on them.
The findings of the current study indicate that a number of protective, prosocial and functional aspects of marijuana may motivate its use among graduate students (Garner, 2016). Strict rules should be implemented and events to emphasize the negative effects of drugs should be carried out especially during the freshman year (Meda et al., 2016). The students who newly entered the institution should briefed about the so-called advantages and their futility. Lastly, the usage of drugs as a norm which acts as a mediator should be stopped, altogether.