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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-26

Psychoactive substance abuse amongst an urban secondary school population in Enugu, Nigeria: Prevalence and pattern of use

1 Department of Psychological Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
2 Federal Neuropsychiatry Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine UNEC, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
K O B. Okonkwo
Department of Psychological Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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A survey of psychoactive substance abuse based on a random sample of 181 students was carried out using a self-report drug use questionnaire in April 1998. A general life time prevalence of 85.1% was found. However, most were occasional users. Using an operational definition of drug abuse as the daily use of the substance, it was found in the study that the prevalence was much lower. Substances commonly abused were alcohol, caffeine, inhalants and nicotine. Other substances occasionally abused were opiods, amphetamine, cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP). The student population that used alcohol daily amounted to 8.8%, while 16.0% used caffeine on a daily basis. Also 3.9% abused inhalants daily while 2.2% smoked Indian hemp everyday. The authors stressed the need to mount an effective drug prevention programme as well as collaborative and extensive epidemiological surveys.

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