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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 37-41

Substance use among university undergraduates: A study of pattern and beliefs in Ile-Ife

Department of Mental Health College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
F O Fatoye
Department of Mental Health College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of substance use and to investigate the relationship between psychosocial variables and current use of psychoactive substances among university undergraduates. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of randomly selected undergraduates of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife was carried out using the WHO drug use questionnaire. RESULTS: Alcohol, stimulants, hypnosedatives, tobacco and cannabis with current use prevalence rates of 20.2 %, 17.7%, 9.8%, 9.0% and 8.2 % respectively were the most commonly used substances. Inhalants/organic solvents, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and pethidine/morphine with current use rates of 3.2%, 2.6%, 2.2%, 1.0% and 0.5% respectively belonged to the 'low - use' category. However, these rates were marginally higher than most previous findings. Five variables (sex, polygamy, living outside the university campus, poor mental health and study difficulty), were significantly associated with the use of many of the substances. Also, perceived harmfulness was observed to be a possible deterrent to substance use and most users were engaged in the use of cheap and easily available substances.CONCLUSION: The observations are largely similar to those from other locations in Nigeria and may therefore be useful in preventive programmes.

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