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Trends in Sociodemographic and Drug Abuse Variables in Patients with Alcohol and Drug Use Disorders in a Nigerian Treatment Facility

TA Adamson
PO Onifade
A Ogunwale


BACKGROUND: Globally, patterns of the use of psychoactive substances have been changing.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the trend in two five-year periods, 1992–1997 versus 2002 – 2007, of alcohol and substance use disorders and associated variables in patients admitted to a drug abuse treatment facility.
METHODS: This was a comparative cross-sectional study involving all patients admitted into Drug Abuse Treatment, Education, and Research (DATER), Unit of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Nigeria within the study period. All subjects had a structured psychiatric interview, a physical examination, laboratory investigations and “DATER” Questionnaire
protocols that elicited socio-demographic, drug and family variables.
RESULTS: The patients in 2002–2007 versus those of 1992–1997 were younger (c2 13.29, p=0.01). More last borns were using drugs by 2002–2007 (c2 11.37, p=0.01). Cannabis was the most abused drug in 2002-2007 (53.5%) as compared to cocaine (44%) in 1992–1997 (c2 35.5, p<0.001). Polydrug abuse was high in the two periods but significantly the drug combination changed to cannabis in combination with alcohol
in 2002–2007 as against cocaine in combination with opiates in 1992–1997 (c2 45.3, p<0.001). More patients had co-morbid psychiatric disorders in 2000-2007 [67.6% as against 38.5% in 1992–1999 c2 28.32, p<0.001]. In both periods, co-morbidity associated with cannabis use rather than any other drug of abuse as the odds ratio was greater than one.
CONCLUSION: The findings in the trend in the two five-year periods underscore the imperatives of continuous evaluation of the drug abuse patient population in treatment which may help drive changes in treatment inputs.

WAJM 2010; 29(1): 12–18.

Keywords: Drug, abuse, trends, Nigeria

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eISSN: 0189-160X