Use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances constitutes major public
health concern, especially among adolescents and young adults. The aims of this
study were to determine the prevalence and perceived accessibility of
psychoactive substances. Method: This cross sectional study was conducted in
three Nigerian universities with the use of United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime (UNODC) student model questionnaire. Results: Five hundred and forty-nine
students participated. Majority of them were females, 289 (55.2%); Christians,
382 (73.0%); of Yoruba ethnic group, 375 (79.6%), and single, 512 (94.8%).
Their mean age was 20.11 years (sd = 2.36). Stimulants other than the
Amphetamine-types had the highest lifetime prevalence rate (53.4%), followed by
Alcohol (35.8%), tranquilizers (12%), opiates other than Heroin (11.9%) and
cigarettes (11.3%). Among the illicit drugs, marijuana had the highest
prevalence (7.2%). Lifetime prevalence rates of cocaine and heroin use were
both 2.1%. The average age at first use of any of the substances was between 10
and 17 years. The commonest consequences of alcohol use were engaged in sex
regretted the next day (2.5%) and engaged in sex without using condom (2.1%);
while the commonest consequences of drug use
were damages to objects or clothing (1.1%), problems in relationship
with parents (1.0%) and friends (1.0%). Stimulants other than amphetamine-types,
solvents, opiates other than heroin, tranquilizers and cannabis were perceived
as easy to get by 57.3%, 38.7%, 32.8%, 29.4% and 22.7% of the respondents
respectively. For all the substances except Amphetamine-type stimulants, ecstasy and crack, lifetime
drug use was significantly associated with perceived easy accessibility to the
respective substances. Conclusions and Recommendations: Drug use among the
students was associated with relationship problems and unsafe sex. It is also
associated with perceived accessibility of the drugs. Attention needs to be
focused on safe sex practices among the students in addition to drug use
Cite this paper
Onifade, P. , Somoye, E. , Ogunwobi, O. , Fadipe, B. , Fela-Thomas, A. and Adeniji, M. (2014) Drug use, consequences and perceived accessibility in three Nigerian universities. Open Journal of Psychiatry
, 60-67. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.41009
 Gore, F.M., Bloem, P.J., Patton, G.C., Ferguson, J., Joseph. V., Coffey, C., et al. (2011) Global burden of disease in young people aged 10 -24 years: A systematic analysis. Lancet, 377, 2093-2102.
 Ihezue, U.H. (1988) Drug abuse among medical students at a Nigerian university: Part 1. Prevalence and pattern of use. Journal of the National Medical Association, 80, 81-85.
 Makanjuola, A.B., Daramola, T.O. and Obembe, A.O. (2007) Psychoactive substance use among medical students in a Nigerian university. World Psychiatry, 6, 112-114.
 Chikere, E.I. and Mayowa, M.O. (2011) Prevalence and perceived health effect of alcohol use among male undergraduate students in Owerri, South-East Nigeria: A descriptive cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 11, 118. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-118
 Adewuya, A.O. (2005) Validation of the alcohol use disorders identification test (audit) as a screening tool for alcohol-related problems among Nigerian university students. Alcohol, 40, 575-577.
 Adewuya, A.O. (2006) Prevalence of major depressive disorder in Nigerian college students with alcohol-related problems. General Hospital Psychiatry, 28, 169-173.
 Nevadomsky, J.J. (1985) Drug use among Nigerian university students: Prevalence of self-reported use and attitudes to use. Bulletin on Narcotics, 37, 31-42.
 Yunusa, M.A., Obembe, A., Madawaki, A. and Asogwa, F. (2011) A survey of psychostimulants use among a university students in Northwestern Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry, 9, 40-45.
 Achalu, O.E. and D.F. (1987) Duncan, drug-taking among Nigerian students at universities in the United States of America. Bulletin on Narcotics, 39, 75-80.
 Okoza, J., Aluede, O. Fajoju, S. and Okhiku, I. (2009) Drug abuse among students of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria. European Journal of Social Sciences, 10, 85-92.
 Ihezue, U.H. (1988) Alcohol and drug taking among medical students at a Nigerian university campus: Part 2. Sociodemographic factors of etiologic significance. Journal of the National Medical Association, 80, 191-195.
 UNDCP (1999) Report of the rapid situation assessment of drug abuse in Nigeria. United Nations International Drug Control Programme, Nigeria.
 Igwe, W.C. and Ojinnaka N.C. (2010) Mental health of adolescents who abuse psychoactive substances in Enugu, Nigeria—A cross-sectional study. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 36, 53.
 Adelekan, M.L. (1989) Self-reported drug use among secondary school students in the Nigerian state of Ogun. Bulletin on Narcotics, 41, 109-116.
 UNODC (2003) GAP toolkit module 3: Conducting school surveys on drug abuse. UN, New York
 Adelekan, M.L. and Odejide, O.A. (1989) The reliability and validity of the WHO student drug-use questionnaire among Nigerian students. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 24, 245-249.
 Oshodi, O.Y., Aina, O.F. and Onajole A.T. (2010) Substance use among secondary school students in an urban setting in Nigeria: Prevalence and associated factors. African Journal of Psychiatry (Johannesbg), 13, 52-57.
 Yisa, I.O., Lawoyin, T.O., Fatiregun, A.A. and Emelumadu, O.F. (2009) Pattern of substance use among senior students of command secondary schools in Ibadan, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Medicine, 18, 286-290.
 Fatoye, F.O. (2007) Substance use among university undergraduates: A study of pattern and beliefs in Ile-Ife. Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal, 14, 37-41.
 NPC and ICF (2009) Nigeria demographic and health survey. National Population Commission and ICF Macro, Abuja.