African Journal of Social Work

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Substance abuse and treatment among students in an institution of higher learning in Nigeria

Oluyemi A. Joseph, Adejoke Joseph, Olaoluwajubeelo Tella, Deborah Adekeye, Taiwo Motolani Williams, Bukola Lateefat Olokoba, Gbenga Popoola


Substance abuse is a rising social problem in Nigeria and has continued to be the major risk behaviour among students in many parts of the country with consequent physical and mental health problems. This study assesses substance abuse and treatment among students of a faith-based institution of higher learning in Nigeria. The study aims at knowing the most abused substance in the study population, how participants got involved in substance abuse, why they are involved in it, the effects, and the most effective substance abuse treatment employed for rehabilitation in the study population. A total of 40 consenting participants were involved in the study while primary data was gathered through questionnaire administration. Indian hemp was the substance mostly abused by the study population closely followed by Alcohol (40.0%), tobacco smoking (25.0%), Cocaine (25.0%), Coffee (10.0%), Codeine (10.0%), Tranquilizer (10.0%) and Inhalants (10.0%) in that order. A total of (55.0%) of the participants got involved in substance abuse out of curiosity while (25.0%) learnt it from their peers. Among the participants, (40.0%) abused substances because it makes them feel high and bold while (25.0%) wanted to socialise among their peers. Psycho-social treatment was found to be most effective treatment plan employed in the study population ahead of moral and medical treatment plans. The study recommends that social work departments be created in all schools in Nigeria at all level to attend to the welfare needs of students especially in behavioural problems such as substance abuse and addiction.

Keywords: Indian hemp, tobacco smoking, alcohol, curiosity, psycho-social treatment, social work, Nigeria

AJOL African Journals Online