Background information

Drugs are substances that influence the working of the body. This influence is meant to be for health benefits. Drugs come in different forms, but all forms can be abused. According to the World Health Organisation, substance abuse is the hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.

Although there is no justification for involvement in substance abuse, some of these points could be considered.

  • Frustration and stress. Some people feel that the only solution to their problems could be taking substances that make them temporarily forget these problems. As such, they resort to excessive intake of alcohol and drugs.
  • Peer group influence. The influences in the environment of an adolescent could incite a flare for negative things. In places they go to, they interact with different kinds of people and see different things. This could also influence them to negativity.
  • Societal influences. Social media has been a focus of different behaviours. There is also a tendency for adolescents to be influenced by what they see online.

There are deadly implications of substance abuse for the health of the individual. The fact remains that substance abuse affects not only the individual but the community and educational system. It may be necessary to say that these effects outnumber the alleged causes or justifications of substance abuse.  For this reason,  substance abuse should be totally discouraged. This article is written to outline the effects of substance abuse on the individual, the community and the education sector.

Effects on the individual’s health

  1. Immune system weakens

Addiction or substance abuse affects the overall working conditions of internal organs in the body. This is due to the fact that the immune system gets weaker by the day due to excessive intake of these harmful substances. The weakness of the immune system exposes the individual to health problems like liver damage,  problems in the lungs, and general respiratory difficulties, and it becomes even more disastrous in cases where the individual is already living with underlying medical conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. Other health problems like insomnia, and loss of appetite, are also effects of substance abuse and could also deteriorate the immune system.

  1. Mental health instability

It is important to note that there are many mental problems that could directly come with substance abuse. Also, mental health problems could arise due to excessive intake of these harmful substances. The individual in question begins to feel some forms of mental health problems like lack of coordination, retention incapability, panic disorders, anxiety and many other health problems. Also, substance abuse alters the feelings and emotions of the individual; this makes the individual have a feeling of happiness while on these drugs and the next moment, the person’s mood changes. These fluctuations in mental and emotional happiness are factors that can result in mental health instability.

  1. Relationship crisis

A person who engages in substance abuse is always set aside from others. There’s absolutely nobody that would be so comfortable relating with an addict or substance abuser.  For this reason, those who engage in this could be forced to resign from their places of work and discontinue their schooling career; due to the negligence of responsibility that they will display as a resultant effect of the substance, they abuse. In essence, they are totally sidelined and relegated in whatever they do.

Effect on the community

  1. Delinquency

Substance abuse gives the abuser a false impression of themselves. It could make them think they are fearless and courageous even though they may not have all these. They may tend to exercise undue authority in the community they belong. Since they cannot correctly control their mind, they may venture into crimes and societal ills. They could engage in stealing people’s property, involvement in rape,  destruction of government property, and many other activities that disrupt the peace and tranquillity of their community.

  1. Shame to family members

Some cases of substance abuse could result in total mental derailment. Such cases push the individual out of the family and could bring shame to the family they belong to in that community.  In addition to this, the community members could also stigmatise the parents of the abuser and may insinuate that the parents did not bring up the child in a proper and decent manner.

Educational effects

  1. Poor grades in school

Due to the loss of coordination that comes with substance abuse, the individual may not be able to coordinate academic activities, create time for study, or retain in cases where he or she manages to study. The overall effect is a reduction in the quality of students that can engage in research and other educational activities.

  1. Negative influence on other students

The individual could pose a threat to other students by negatively influencing their way of life. Such a person could engage in harmful activities like cultism, bullying, and many other activities that negatively impact the lives of other students.

  1. Examination malpractice

Since the individual cannot study, the alternative may be to venture into examination malpractice in order to meet up. Therefore, such students cannot defend what they were taught in school.

  1. Forceful withdrawal from school

When the institution has tried various ways to transform the substance abuser, and it seemingly becomes impossible, the school will rusticate or force the student to withdraw from the school. This comes with a lot of frustration and stigma; it would take time before this individual is reintegrated into society.


It is always advisable to stay away from substance abuse despite the pressure. It is also very easy to begin substance abuse, but very difficult to come out of it. Therefore, live a healthy life, be happy with yourself, and stay away from substance abuse.


To speak with any of our counsellors at Light House Counselling, call or WhatsApp +2348055507808.

We provide 5 different types of Counseling ranging from Marriage and Family Counselling, Educational Counselling, Rehabilitation Counselling, Mental Health Counselling, and Substance Abuse Counselling.

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