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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-51

A comparative study of use of psychoactive substances amongst secondary school students in two local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
F Abasiubong
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18689139

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BACKGROUND: The use and abuse of psychoactive substances is very rampant, even in our secondary schools. In recent times, there has been a growing concern about negative effects of these substances on youths. The high incidence of school dropouts and other nefarious activities are the resultant impacts on the students. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the study were: (1) To determine the prevalence of substance use amongst secondary school students. (2) Compare the findings in two different local settings. (3) To determine the sociodemographic variables. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four hundred secondary school students from two Local Government Areas were assessed for use of psychoactive substances, during the second term of 2004/2005 school session, using a Youth Survey Questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 254 (63.5%) students, consisting of 119 from Uyo and 135 from Eket were analyzed. The mean age of the students in both schools was 17.1 + 2.0 and 16.6 + 1.7 years respectively. The difference in the mean was statistically significant (t = 1.14; df = 3, p > 0.05). More students from Uyo, 37 (31.1%) used kolanuts, 54 (45.4%) sedatives, while more students from Eket, 47 (34.8%) used tobacco/cigarettes, 76 (56.3%) alcohol, 21 (15.6%) Indian hemp, 5 (3.7%) cocaine and 1 (0.7%) heroin. Class level (P = 0.04), upbringing (P = 0.02) and parents' marital status (P = 0.01) was statistically significant in the use of tobacco/cigarettes. Also, class level (P = 0.02) parents' marital status (P = 0.00) was statistically significant in the use of alcohol, while family type (P = 0.00) and parents' marital status was significant in the use of sedatives. Similarly, parents' marital status (P = 0.05) was statistically significant in the use of Indian hemp, while family type (P = 0.00), upbringing (P = 0.03) was significant in cocaine. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study confirm the presence and use of psychoactive substances in varying proportions among students. Therefore, there is need to strengthen the monitoring and preventive programmes aimed at reducing their spread in schools.

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