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Spectrum of substance use precipitating rehabilitative services among adult patients in the university of Port Harcourt teaching hospital

Chukwuma Ugochukwu Okeafor
Irene Esu


Background: World Health Organization ranks substance abuse as one of the top twenty health risk factors. It poses a serious
public health crisis with a significant burden for affected individuals, families and health systems. This study aimed to identify
the spectrum and pattern of substance use among patients receiving rehabilitative services.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional design involving 190 patients receiving rehabilitative care for substance use in the
University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), a
validated and reliable tool was employed to obtain data on substance use. Statistical analyses were performed at P<0.05.

Results: The male to female ratio was 4:1. A higher proportion of the patients were within 18-35years category (81.6%; n=155).
The commonly used substances were alcohol (90.5%; n=172), cannabis/marijuana (43.7%; n=83), prescription opioids (28.9%;
n=55). cigarette (25.8%; n=49), and street opioids (15.8%; n=30). The prevalence of poly substance use was 68.4%(n=130).
Age(p=0.033) and sex (being male) (p=0.002) were predictors for number of substances used.

Conclusion: Almost all the patients receiving drug rehabilitative service used alcohol, and approximately 7 in 10 used more than
one substance. The need to inculcate harm reduction in the management protocol is therefore paramount.

Keywords: Substance use; alcohol; cannabis; substance use; rehabilitative care.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905