Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences

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Prevalence of substance abuse among some patients at the University of Lagos Medical Centre, Nigeria

Onyekachi O. Iroanya, Tochukwu F. Egwuatu, Chika C. Uzochukwu, Opeyemi E. Fatokun


Substance or drug abuse can be described as a hazardous or detrimental use of a drug or psychoactive substance including alcohol, whereby the user consumes the substance in unprescribed amounts or uses them in methods that may be harmful to himself or herself and even to others. The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of substance abuse among some in- and/or out-patients at University of Lagos Medical Centre, Lagos Nigeria. Individuals involved or suspected to engage in social, academic or sexual misconducts were screened at the University of Lagos Medical Centre for substance abuse. Their urine samples were collected using sterile urine containers and tested using CLIA Waived One Step Multi-Drug Test Dip Card Package Insert. Questionnaires were also used for data generation. Of the 600 patients who participated in this study, 296 (49.3%) were positive to use of illicit drug. Out of the 296 patients who tested positive 228 (77.03%) were males while 68 (22.97%) were females. Cannabis (59.5%) was the most abused, while the least was cocaine (6.42%). The correlation at 0.001 level between gender and number of oxazepam users was significant. Chi-square analysis revealed a statistical significant difference among males and females who abused oxazepam. Data collected from questionnaires showed that depression was the major cause of substance abuse. The age range that had the highest number of illicit drug users was 21-25 (61.15%) and the least was 30-40 (3.04%). Counseling, proper dissemination of information and health care education are needed to eradicate or significantly curtail substance abuse in Nigeria.

Keywords: Substance use, illicit drug, psychoactive substance, One Step Multi-Drug Test dependence syndrome

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