During the study, it was not easy to convince the students to reveal information regarding their drug abuse behaviors. This was because the students were more concerned about preserving their privacy, which they were not willing to make known to the institution authorities, their parents and even friends. It was therefore upon the researchers to explore different strategies to convince the students that whatever they were going to discuss was to remain a secret between the student and the interviewer.
This was done by ensuring that the involved only two people i. e. the researcher and the student in a private room where no any other party could steal the topic of discussion (Christensen, Jacobson, 1997). Literature review The phenomenological research on drug abuse by university students in Ottawa found out that the drugs possibly abused by these students are mainly prescription drugs. Such drugs are usually opiate based for pain relief, tranquilizers, stimulants and amphetamines. Others also include sedatives and barbiturates.
The study however found out that the most seriously abused drugs by the students of Ottawa University are cocaine and marijuana. Most students who abuse drugs such as the barbiturates were found to do so with the intention of getting rid of anxiety and sleep disorders. On the other hand, the abusers of tranquillizers consume them with an intention of reducing stress and panic attacks. Studies on drug abuse by students since 1970s has shown that male students consume more drugs than their female counterparts. The frequency of drug usage was also found to be high in males than in females.
For example, a study conducted on Ottawa University students on drug abuse confirmed that about 74% of male students compared to 53% of female students consumed more than one to two standard drinks in the previous year (Corbett, 1994). Very recent studies on drug abuse among university students however showed that there was a smaller gender difference in levels of drug consumption. A recent survey of Ottawa university students showed that 83. 3% of female students and 84. 9% of male students had abused drugs in the past one year. Most Ottawa university male and female students are assumed to consume drugs moderately.
Nevertheless, a clear gender difference is confirmed from self-reported by the students of excessive drug consumption. The excessive consumption especially alcohol consumption is defined by four or more drinks by female students on a single occasion and five or more drinks by male students on a single occasion. The rate for harmful consumption for female students is however higher than that of male students. Almost a half of the total female students (42%) who had engaged in drug abuse were reported to have had harmful abuse as compared to 46.
3% of all the male students who had abused drug that year reported to have had harmful abuse (Ogborne, Braun & Schmidt 1996). Harmful consumption of drugs as was identified included those who felt in the wrong after consuming the drug, those who could not remember anything after taking the drug, those who suffered drug abuse related injuries and those whom after consumption of the drugs suggested reduction in drug abuse among students (El-Guebaly, 1990). Other than those who suffered harmful abuse, there are those who were found to be dependent abusers.
Dependent abusers involved approximately 28. 6% of female students and 30. 5% of male students. It was noted that the dependent abusers could not stop using the drugs, could not perform expected activities after the consumption of drugs or needed some morning consumption of the drugs. The table below shows the percentage of university students by sex who were reported past year for harmful and dependent drinking. On further survey, 56 percent of all the female abusers were found to be taking at least five drinks on a single occasion in the course of the year. On the other hand, 26.
1% were found to be taking at least eight drinks on one occasion during the same period. In addition to the above surveys, a research conducted indicated that 30. 4% of male students were reported to have taken alcohol beyond the low risk guidelines for alcohol consumption as compared to 15. 2% of the female students (Ogborne, Smart& Rush 1998). According to the research, in a situation where the harm got from drug abuse is as a result of substance abuse, there occurs very small gender difference quoted by male and female students. For instance a study conducted in 2004 confirmed that 6.
9% of female students and 9. 1% of male students reported that there occurred at least harm in their lives during the past year as a result of their drug consumption and 30. 4% of female and 30. 7% of male students reported harm as a result of another person’s consumption(Corbett, 1994) In 1994 a survey recent reports showed an increasing drug abuse for illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and others by male and female students. Generally, male students were found to be on the front line when it comes to reporting the use of illicit drugs as compared to their female counterparts.
Nevertheless, the most recent reports point to an increasing self-reports by both female and male students in the use of cannabis although a significant gender difference remains. On alcohol and other drugs abuse, 10% of male students and 5% of female students were reported to be abusers of cannabis while a same study conducted in 2004 indicated an increment to 18% for male students and 10% for female students. In addition, the same study in the 2004 indicated that 7. 35% of female students and 14. 1% of male students were abusers of cocaine.
The study conducted in Ottawa University provided enough evidence that the difference in gender in relation to illicit substance use is getting smaller. Alarm on this situation has attracted international attention especially from Australia, united sates and other European Union countries. In the year 2004, 15. 8% of female students and 18. 1% male students reported harms from their own cannabis consumption. Research has shown that approximately 25% to about 33% of all students using injection drugs in Ottawa University are female students. This has been identified as a major factor for HIV infection in female students.
It has been noted that of the entire positive tests of HIV in women from the year 1985 to 2002, between 33% and 48% have been as a result of injection drug use. Reports from the study revealed that there is consumption of the ketom plant leaves by university students in Ottawa as a drug because the leaves of ketom plants contain hallucinogens, which are as intoxicating as marijuana. The increased abuse of drugs in university colleges is blamed on the difficulties in enforcing laws in such institutions, which speeds up the spread of such drugs. (Corbett, 1994).
A further research showed that many drug users do suffer mood disorders. For instance among those abusing cocaine, the most commonly detected disorders are depressive disorders. The analysis revealed that the association between mood disorders and drug abuse among the abusers is usually very complicated. Most drug abusers do build up depression that comes as a result of physical and psychological endurance connected with the use of drugs. The study showed that most students who suffered mood disorders after abusing cocaine became drug dependent after making attempts of self-medication.
Initially it was not easy to handle the conditions of students who were suffering from both mood disorders and drug abuse but it became possible after a research revealed that a treatment on mood disorders alone could have a positive effect on drug abuse (Boyd, Millard & Webster 1985). A research that was conducted on students involved urine test whereby unsystematic weekly examinations indicated a significant high use of cocaine as compared to marijuana by different students.
Most of the students who tested positive for drug abuse however, were found to have come from families with a history of substance abuse, which in most situations reached, back to several generations. All students from such families had started abusing the drugs long before enrolling in the institution. All students who participated in the study and who happened to be drug abusers were given packets of capsules which they were to take two times each day during the four week study. For most of the students, the capsules included lithium prescription that had shown its effectiveness in treating adult bipolar patients.
Bipolar disorder in most students was found to have been caused by substance abuse disorder including the use of marijuana, alcohol, cocaine and other multiple drugs. During the study, a number of students were also treated as outpatients and given weekly therapy sessions in addition. In the course of the study, blood vessels of lithium were tested at least twice every week to ensure that the participants were taking the capsules given to them. Samples of urine were also taken on a similar basis to scrutinize the use of drug (Christensen & . Jacobson, 1997).
The percentage of the students taking the lithium capsules, the drug positive samples changed from 38% to approximately 8% indicating a significant reduction. Four random tests were conducted during the study and the urine samples that were tested revealed the students self reports. They were definitely a noteworthy reduction in the use of drug. In addition to reduction in drug use, the students receiving lithium capsules progressed in the symptoms of bipolar disorder. The improvement was mainly noted in their ability to function properly in school activities as compared to how they could function before the study.
Chronically drug dependent students who were suffering from primary and secondary depression were recognized in the course of the study and treated. Most students who experienced a drop in depressive symptoms and those who noted improvements confessed that they had noted a reduction in their crave and use of drugs mainly cocaine and marijuana. The research that was conducted indicated that there has been almost forty years of trying to prevent drug abuse among university students in Ottawa. This has been done by conducting youth counseling especially to those who have developed drug addiction.
In addition to youth counseling a treatment centre for youth who are suffering from drug abuse related disorders have been opened to help treat the youth. In an evaluation of the best measures to put forward in trying to find treatment to substance abuse in Canada, a study showed that female students do suffer a lot of stigma in connection with their substance abuse problem as compared to the male students. In addition, the research has established that the female students do suffer much confrontation from their families and friends and most negative consequences in treatment center (El-Guebaly, 1990).
The female students do suffer the negative consequences in treatment centers as a result of problems from family members, neglect by friends, lack of finances to cater for the treatment bill and other unfavorable effects related to the well-being of females. It has been demonstrated in different researches that advertising of drugs has a very strong influence on the way university students in Ottawa perceive some of these drugs and can therefore be a source of motivators to these students to engage in their consumption.
Furthermore, female students as compared to male students experience sexual abuse and physical abuse, which in most cases have a strong relationship with substance abuse. Research has demonstrated that female students who had at one time in their lives suffered sexual assault in most cases do use or misuse drugs at early ages and in most cases, they use them in large quantities (El-Guebaly & Hodgins, 1992).
For According to the research conducted, the effect of abusing drugs and especially the illicit drugs such as cocaine and marijuana have been found to diverge among female students and also between female and male students depending on the drugs that are on hand for use. The effects of the drugs however do depend on the type of drug consumed, how regular the abuser use the drug, the amount of drug consumed and the general health condition of the person consuming the drug (Smart, 1983).