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Prevalence of Psychoactive Drug Use by Taxi Drivers in Nigeria
Aim: To ascertain the prevalence and nature of psychoactive drug use amongst taxi drivers in Nigeria. Materials and Method: A total of 192 taxi drivers in Enugu, South East Nigeria was studied using a questionnaire. Information obtained from the questionnaire included socio-demographic characteristics of the drivers, pattern and reasons for drug use and factors associated with it\'s use, awareness of danger posed by drugs as well as accident rates amongst the drivers. Result: The prevalence of psychoactive drug use amongst the drivers was 85.4%. The commonest drugs used were alcohol, tobacco and central nervous system stimulants such as coffee and kolanut. Drivers who were single, of younger age group, of low literacy level and who had been in the profession for more than 5 years had higher prevalence of drug use. The commonest reason for using drugs was to remain strong and alert while religious conviction was a major consideration for not using psychoactive drugs. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of psychoactive drug use amongst taxi drivers in Nigeria. A drug rehabilitation program for taxi drivers in Nigeria is advocated. Religious leaders should be integrated into the program. A health education programme to create awareness on dangers of these substances as well as stress coping mechanisms is advocated.
Keywords: Psychoactive Drugs; Taxi Drivers; Nigeria.
Journal of College of Medicine Vol. 13 (1) 2008: pp. 48-52