Street Life Involvement and Substance Use among “Yandaba” in Kano, Nigeria
Representative members (N=173) of yandaba (young, male, urban gangs in Kano, Nigeria) aged 13-29 years (mean age= 19.3years, SD = 3.81), recruited through street outreach, were invited to complete self-report anonymous questionnaires about their patterns of drug and alcohol use. Of these, nine participants were randomly reselected to participate in oral interviews about their motivation towards psychoactive drug/alcohol use. High rates of cannabis, tobacco (nicotine), rophynol, codeine, and alcohol misuse appear to exist among this group, in addition to other improvised local drugs. The choice of certain types of drugs or intoxicants among the group could be affected by their cost implication (i.e., affordability), availability and commonality. A thematic analysis of the qualitative interviews suggests “strategic intoxication” to get the job done, the need to maintain cohesion and/or increase solidarity, and relationships with politicians as the probable risk factors to explain substance misuse among this group.
Keywords: street life, substance misuse, alcohol and drug use, yandaba, youth gangs