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African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

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Commercial tricycle riders’ perceptions of psychoactive drug use and the risk of road traffic accidents in Uyo, Nigeria

Ediomo-Ubong E. Nelson, Okokon O. Umoh, Nsidibe F. Essien, Aniekan S. Brown

Abstract


This article reports qualitative interview study on commercial tricycle riders’ perceptions of psychoactive drug use and the risk of road traffic accidents in Nigeria. A purposive sampling method was used to recruit ninety-four (n=94) commercial tricycle riders in Uyo, Nigeria. Data were collected through in-depth, individual interviews. Inductive and thematic analyses were undertaken on the interview transcripts. The tricycle riders reported frequently consuming significant quantities of licit and illicit drugs, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and heroin. They attributed drug use to occupational hazards such as stress, fatigue and exhaustion. They recognized the effects of psychoactive drug use on tricycle riding, including impairment of vision, coordination and navigational abilities, and how these increase the risk of traffic accidents. Education, routine screening for drug use, curbing bribery and corruption among road safety officials, and curtailing availability of psychoactive drugs were recommended as measures for preventing drug use and road traffic accidents. Findings indicate significant overlap between lay and expert views on the risk factors for traffic accidents and counter-measures, highlighting the need to integrate lay perspectives into policy and action on road safety to improve outcomes.

Keywords: Commercial tricycle riders, psychoactive drugs, road traffic accidents




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