Stigma from psychoactive substance use: Sociodemographic correlation of the perceiver
Psychoactive substance use and abuse have been identified as the most stigmatized health condition. This often arises from ‘public’, ‘self’ and ‘courtesy’ stigmas and biases. In Nigeria, studies on stigma of psychoactive substance use and abuse are few and mainly from the perception of medical service providers. No previous Nigerian study according to search by the authors had published on stigma of psychoactive substance use from the perspectives of non-medical persons. This research is therefore aimed to study the prevalence and associated sociodemographic variables of public stigma meted out to users of psychoactive substances. The study instruments were filled by 480 members of staff of Kaduna refinery after obtaining their informed consents. Information on age, gender, educational characteristics and scores on Perceived Stigma of Addiction Scale (PSAS) were collected and analysed with IBM-SPSS version 21. Participants with no formal education are noted to have high public stigma against substance abusers. Belonging to middle age group and male gender are the two demographics that have non-significant low stigma mean scores. It is hoped that this study do provide a platform for interventional guide in reducing and preventing public stigma towards people with psychoactive substance use disorder.
Keywords: Stigma, Substance use, Perceivers’ variables.