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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 277-284

Drug abuse among Nigerian high-school adolescents: Exploring the relationship with problematic internet use, suicidality, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem

1 Department of Mental Health, State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria
3 Health & Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London Ontario, Canada
4 Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Tolulope Opakunle
Department of Mental Health, State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_17_22

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Background: Drug abuse is a global public health problem that is associated with increased psychiatric morbidity and mortality. Objectives: This study assessed the prevalence of drug abuse and its relationship with problematic Internet use (PIU), suicidality, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem among high school adolescents. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study involving 1304 Nigerian high school adolescents recruited through the multistage stratified sampling method. The participants completed a study-specific sociodemographic questionnaire, a 10-item Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST), Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire-Short Form-6 (PIU-SF-6), the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview Suicidality module, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). Results: The prevalence rate of drug abuse was 49.8%. Adolescents who abused drugs had higher mean scores on PIU, suicidality, depression, and anxiety scales and lower scores on the self-esteem scale. All these variables cumulatively accounted for approximately 22% of the total variance in the DAST score. Conclusions: Drug abuse is still prevalent among Nigerian adolescents, with a significant association with PIU, suicidality, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. All these variables may provide the template for psychological and social interventions that are specifically targeted to the management of drug abuse among Nigerian adolescents.

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