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Educational status and other socio-demographic correlates of current use of psychoactive substance among Nigerian adolescents

T.O. Ogunkunle
A.A. Gobir
A.B. Makanjuola
A. Ojuawo


Background: The spate of psychoactive substance use is unprecedented. The determination of associated factors will be critical to tackling this  menace. However, most studies were conducted in school which would have excluded the population of out-ofschool children. Thus, this study
assessed the correlates of adolescents’ psychoactive substance use at the community level.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted among 500 adolescents (258 male and 242 female) in  Ilorin West LGA between December 2016 and October 2017. A stratified multistage sampling technique was used for subject selection and a pretested WHO substance use questionnaire was
used to collect data. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were employed to identify the predictors of substance use.
Results: The lifetime prevalence of psychoactive substance use is 43.4% while the prevalence of current use is 31.2%. The most commonly used substances were stimulants (caffeine); 14.4%, codeine- containing cough syrup; 10.4% and alcohol; 10.2%. Socioeconomic class and the use of substances by friends were predictors of current use. The current use of alcohol and opiates is significantly higher among in-school subjects (p = 0.001, 0.042). Current use of cannabis, alcohol, hallucinogen, cocaine, correlated positively with educational status of respondents in school.
Conclusions: The current use rate of psychoactive substance is high among the adolescents with socioeconomic class, use of substance by friends and educational status as its predictors. Urgent multipronged measures are therefore, crucial to curb this trend.

Keywords: Psychoactive substances, Adolescents, current use, lifetime use, educational status

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eISSN: 0302-4660