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USE OF PUBLIC RELATION TO COUNTER NEGATIVE PUBLICITY ON CODEINE BAN
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This research is on Use of public relation to counter negative publicity on codeine ban. Drug abuse amongst youths has become a major problem nationwide in Nigeria and other countries worldwide. Youths who are expected to be leaders of tomorrow have been rendered useless to themselves and the societies in which they live, due to the impact of drug on them, this has continually contributed to the increase in the number of psychiatric patients, street boys, school dropouts and delinquents. Drug abuse is a rapidly growing global problem (Lakhanpal, Agnihotri, 2007; United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 2007; Abudu, 2008). The problem of drug abuse poses a significant threat to the social, health, economic fabrics of the families, society and the entire nations (Giade, 2012; Oshodi, Aina & Onajole, 2010). Almost every country in the world is affected from one or more drug being abused by its citizens. The increased of drug abuse globally has brought problems such as increase in violence and crimes and diseases such as HIV/AIDS, collapse of the veins and collapse in the social structure (UNODC, 2007; Oshodi, Aina, & Onajole, 2010).
Therefore there is the need to educate the public on the need to stay away from abusing most especially medical drugs like codeine which had being used for treating the sick, public relation is a means that can be used to carry out this task as it also will help in restoring the image of the producers and distributors of codeine in Nigeria, Emzor pharmaceuticals who’s brand identity has being looked down upon based on what drug abusers have reduced codeine to, this research is timely because the negative publicity shown to codeine has seriously made people to disregard the usefulness the drug has and this has greatly affected the producing company.
1.1 Background of the Study
This research is on Use of public relation to counter negative publicity on codeine ban. Horrible youthful activities are widespread in Nigeria especially in the northern part of Nigeria to the extent that they have been giving a lot of concern to the society, government and other stake holders in Nigeria. In primary and secondary schools’ peers engage in organized crimes and disrupt normal academic programs. In secondary schools, the activities of secret cults are known to have been source of threat to lives and property. Those in the tertiary institutions are not left out as a lot of ritual killings are taking place amongst young people all in the bid to get riches overnight (Abudu, 2008; Oshodi, Aina, & Onajole, 2010). The impact of drug abuse among Nigerian students has been a feature of a morally bankrupt, corrupt and wasted generation and loss of our societal values and ideals. The situation now appears to be such that no one can argue ignorance of what is happening (Abudu, 2008). As stated by (Hamisu, Ahmad & Lim, 2014), “one cannot sit and pretend that he/she has not seen the menace of drug abuse among adolescents”.
Odianose (2009) commented that, drug abuse is the “arbitrary” over dependence or misuse of one particular drug with or without a prior medical prescription from qualified health practitioners. Drug abuse may also be defined as the “arbitrary” over dependence or miss-use of one particular drug with or without a prior medical diagnosis from qualified health practitioners (Lakhanpal, & Agnihotri, 2007). Oluremi (2012) stated that Drug Abuse is the harmful use of mind altering drugs. It added that the term usually refers to problem with illegal drugs, which also include harmful use of legal prescription drugs, Such as in self-medication. Majority of the Nigerian adolescents ignorantly or deliberately depend on one form of drug or the other for their various daily activities–social, educational, political, morals among others. Such drugs include: Tobacco, Indian hemp, cocaine, morphine, Heroine, Alcohol, ephedrine, Madras, Caffeine, Glue, Barbiturates, Amphetamines, Panadol, Benilyn, Burukutu, or local beer, cigarette, solution, beer (Shehu, 2008) and more worrisome lately medically prescribed drugs used to cure illnesses, such as Sedatives/Hypnotics, paracetamol, Antibiotics, Aspirin, Tramadol morphine, pentazocine (fortwin), pethidine and codeine are now taken by youths without knowing the health implications of over dose of them.
There is no doubt that the abuse of drug among secondary school students in Kaduna State, Nigeria has continued unabated, thereby creating a social and emotional problem for both users and the society because they have now become a burden to their families and the society. Socio-emotional behaviour is the expression of a person that can be in the form of positive or negative way. Samuel (2006), viewed negative socio-emotional behaviour as any condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a period of time and adversely affecting academic performance, e.g., inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationship with peers, pervasive mood of unhappiness and fears associated with personal or school work. Socio-emotional behaviour can be observed when a child is experiencing problem more severe than those experienced by most children, and when such child behaviour in school, home, and society becomes extremely difficult to cope with and the behaviour is strange and disturbing (Onu, 2016).
The potential power of using public relation officers to tackle this menace seems to be an option that can yield positive results, as public relation personnel’s who are well equipped vocally and understand that it’s high time youths are addressed at points where they gather can do well to reiterate the usefulness of this drugs as this days people are failing to understand that this drugs even have any goodness in them because of the problems they can cause those who heavily indulge in their usage. To make things worse and in a way to preserve the future of the youths a lot of campaigns have being set in motion to discredit this drugs which have led to them being banned.
As public relation personnel’s, the mandate to restore the image of this drugs being abused lies in their power to effectively communicate with people both online such as using social media platforms due to the digitalization going on worldwide and by using traditional media outlets like Television, radio and newspapers to further educate people. Furthermore, the use of avenues such as seminars, talk shows and general gatherings targeted at young people can do a lot of good as suitable places to address these problems in mass. The use of practical instances also seems like best fit to put the dangers in the minds of those who may be planning to give this drug a try.
Codeine is an opioid analgesic also used in the management of pain and diarrhea, like other opioids it is widely abused because of its potential to produce euphoria (high mood) when consumed in large quantities, based on this most youths indulge on its abuse by consuming large quantities of codeine-containing cough syrups which certainly have adverse effects such as dependence, tolerance, sedation, euphoria, constipation following prolonged use, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, dry mouth and this abuse can further cause respiratory depression in large doses. The harm associated with this drug abuse are enormous on short run and long run basis.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Drug abuse is not new to the society, but this act have taken a new dimension in recent times, as medical drugs that are supposed to be authoritatively issued by medical practitioners are now being abused all in the name of seeking self-pleasure. Due to the abuse of this drugs like codeine which has become a major problem to families where this youths come from, the government who make policies on how well people should live their lives, the society which is made up of different people both old, young, educated and uneducated, rich and poor who regularly interact and are potential victims of incidents perpetuated by young boys and girls who are addicted to drugs. With the trend in drug abuse there is no better time but now to deeply look at what this trend holds for drugs, their producing companies and even those who distribute them, this companies like Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry Ltd are brands who produce other drugs and when there is a case of drug abuse it affects their sales and also it affects their image as people reading about the producers of this drugs may likely tend to think they encourage this kind of acts in the society.
Therefore, this study looks at encouraging the complete abstinence of the abuse of this drug and possibly the upliftment of the ban to better make it regain its position in the list of drugs that can be safe to administer to sick patients.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to reiterate how useful public relation can be used to counter negative publicity on codeine ban and also protect the name of the drug producers and distributors like Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry Ltd.
The specific objectives are to:
- Identify ways through which public relation can be used to counter negative publicity on codeine ban.
- Identify the ways public relation can be useful in tackling the abuse of drugs in Kaduna state.
- Assess how negatively people on hearing about codeine perceive its impact in the society.
- Identify effective ways through which using public relation sensitization on safe drug usage can be promoted.
- Identify predominant factors that lead to drug abuse among youths in Kaduna State.
- Identify ways through which using public relation, drug addicts can be cared for during recovery.
- Assess the influence of drug abuse on social behavior among youths.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were used for the study;
- What are the ways through which public relation can be used to counter negative publicity on codeine ban?
- What are the ways public relation can help prevent drug abuse in the society, especially Kaduna State?
- What are the ways that be used to address people and make them understand that codeine if properly used can be helpful to their health?
- To what extent can drug abuse destabilize the society?
- What are the factors that lead to drug abuse?
- How can drug addicted patients be taken care of through recovery?
- Who are the major abusers of drugs in the society?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested.
H0: Public relation cannot be used to counter Negative Publicity on Codeine Ban
H1: Public relation can be used to counter Negative publicity on codeine Ban.
H0: There is no significant difference between the use of public relation to counter the negative perception of codeine ban and the use of other mediums in the society.
H2: There is significant difference between the use of public relation to counter the negative perception of codeine ban and the use of other mediums in the society.
H0: There are no significant ways public relation can help prevent drug abuse in the society, especially Kaduna State.
H3: There are significant ways public relation can help prevent drug abuse in the society, especially Kaduna State. There are no ways by which public relation can be used to address people and make them understand that codeine if properly used can be helpful to their health?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The major significance of this study is to savage the name of medical drugs being abused such as codeine and also their producing/distributing companies such as Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry Ltd who in 2018 were shut down and this affected their activities to a large extent before they were reopened.
The study will be useful to the students in schools, by effectively educating them that codeine has its benefits far from what they are used for and this education at schools’ level to students as the prevalence of drug use and abuse are mainly by students. The study will also educate students on the risks involved in drug abuse, which are enormous to mention.
The result of study will enlighten the parents and families, through workshop and seminars, and the use of mass media, as it will enable parents to educate their children about the risks of illicit drug usage and further educate their children on what the actual importance of this drug could mean to human health. The parents on the other hand will be enlightened on the prevalence of drug use and abuse.
Furthermore, the study will also reveal to the society the need to ensure drugs are used for the right reasons to which they are produce and not encourage their ban, as most people depend on this drug medically for survival. Also, it will reveal that rather than call for codeine ban, proper measures/laws should be strengthened to counter the trafficking and illegal possession of this drug.
The study will help teachers to be enlightened on the usefulness of codeine and how best to address their students who tend to misunderstand what codeine stands for as a medical drug.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
Based on available literature on drug abuse among students, this study was based on the following assumptions that:
- Drug abuse has led to negative perception of codeine in the society.
- Drug traffickers and abusers’ actions on codeine have led to its ban.
- Drug abuse has led to the misuse of codeine which medically is a powerful drug administered by medical practitioner’s only.
- Drug abuse negatively affects the youths in the society.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to use of public relation to counter negative publicity on codeine ban in Nigeria especially as it affects the producing and distributing companies such as, Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industry L.t.d. The research also focuses on the effect of drugs in Kaduna State. The study is further delimited to secondary school students in Kaduna State, precisely, senior secondary school students in SS I, SS II and SS III classes in Government secondary schools in Kaduna State. These students served as the subjects of study, this was because they are at their adolescence stage which psychologists described as the stage of storm and stress, and they are the most vulnerable set of students who are exposed to drug addiction and substance abuse. So if they get to understand that this drugs like codeine which are abused can be used to treat their sickness and save lives, its hopeful that they can have a rethink and also spread the word to their friends.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Public Relation: This is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.
Negative publicity: is the adverse publicity that a firm may incur due to a particular reason, which may lead to potentially disastrous consequences, which tarnishes their image.
Ban: is a formal or informal prohibition of something to be used or produced in the society.
Drug Abuse: Refers to the habitual taking of drugs not medically prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist.