Determinants of psychoactive substance use among incarcerated delinquents in Nigeria
The objective of the study was to identify the prevalence of psychoactive substance use among incarcerated delinquents in Nigeria and its determinants. The total inmate population of 401 individuals were interviewed over a period of four weeks using an interviewer administered
questionnaire that assessed for socio demographic, forensic, and drug use history among other variables. All the respondents were males, with a mean age of 20.6 ± 3.1 years, ranging from 12 to 39 years and had spent an average of 16.1 ± 9.9 months. The average age of first use was 12.6
± 5.9 years. The prevalence of lifetime and current use of any substance was 88.0% and 64.3% respectively. Prior arrest, being sexually active and family drug use significantly (p<0.05) predicted lifetime use of any substance while being raised in a monogamous family was protective. Prior
arrest, family drug use, and being sexually active significantly (p<0.05) increased lifetime use of illicit substances while being raised from a monogamous home significantly (p<0.05) reduced same. Prior arrest and substance use before incarceration significantly (p<0.05) predicted current
use of any substance. Being sexually active and substance use before incarceration significantly (P<0.05) predicted current use of illicit substances while high self esteem and being the first born was protective. Since substance use prevalence is high among incarcerated delinquents,
the incorporation of substance abuse screening and treatment as part of their programmeme is advocated.
Key Words: Substance use, delinquents, incarceration, Nigeria,