Psychosocial characteristics of patients admitted to a drug rehabilitation unit in Nigeria

  • G Eze
  • B Jame
  • J Omoaregba
  • R Osahon


Purpose: To identify the pattern and psychosocial characteristics of alcohol and other psychoactive substance use among patients admitted to a drug treatment unit of a regional psychiatric hospital in Benin City, Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 90 in-patients was conducted over a 6 month period, using a specially designed questionnaire to elicit socio-demographic and personality characteristics. Patterns of psychoactive substance use were obtained by self reporting and corroborated from case notes. Associated psychiatric diagnoses were recorded according to clinicians’ diagnosis using to the ICD-10. Results: Majority of respondents were single (86.7%), male (92.2%), and unemployed (62.2%) with up to 12 years formal education (52.2%) and raised by both parents (60%) in polygamous family settings. Most (52.2%) misused a combination of psychoactive substances. Some (41.1%) had been using these substances for over 7 yr prior to admission. Psychiatric co-morbidity was infrequent (60%) and the commonest psychiatric diagnosis seen was schizophrenia (23.3%). A minority reported a history of parental use of psychoactive substances. Shy, reserved and sociable traits were seen in a minority of respondents. Conclusion: Combinations of psychoactive substances are usually misused by young males from polygamous family settings. Cannabis use accounts for a high proportion of inpatient admissions. The successful management of substance use disorders needs preventive social strategies among vulnerable groups in resource-poor settings like ours. Keywords: psychoactive substance use, psycho-social, sociodemographic characteristics.

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eISSN: 1596-9819