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Abstract

PREVALENCE OF THE USE OF ILLICIT PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS AND CAFFEINE AMONG ADOLESCENT STUDENTS IN AN EASTERN NIGERIAN TOWN

Chikere A. Anusiem*, Oliver U. Eze, Peace Chigozie Okorie, Kenneth I. Nwadike, Chigorom Angela Anusiem, Daniel C. Okorie and Ezinne Chidimma Eze

ABSTRACT

Background: The use of psychoactive drugs by adolescents is increasing in some countries. The dangers in the use of illicit drugs by youths have to do with the several deleterious effects of the use of such drugs and the observation that most people who commence illicit drug use, particularly cocaine, in their teens are more likely to develop drug dependence in adulthood. Though coffee exerts some psychoactive effects because of its caffeine content, we included it in the study. It is not an illicit drug. To the best of our knowledge, there are no current statistics in peer reviewed journals on the extent of the use of cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and amphetamine by youths in Enugu Nigeria. We therefore considered it an imperative to conduct a study to investigate the prevalence of the use of these drugs among adolescents in the town. Methods: The research project was a cross-sectional research instrument. A prevalidated questionnaire was used as the research tool. The study was carried out in Enugu a capital city in south eastern Nigeria. The schools visited were chosen by systematic stratified random sampling to include schools owned by the government as well as those owned by private entrepreneurs. Data was analyzed using the IBM SPSS version 20. Statistical significance of any differences was determined at p ≤ 0.05. Results: The study showed that the number of students who had ever taken any of the illicit drugs was quite low ((1.25 to 2.9%) whereas a large percentage (54.3%) of the students had consumed coffee at least once in their life. Conclusion: This study shows that over 50% of the respondents had consumed coffee at least once, but the prevalence of use of illicit drugs (cocaine, cannabis, heroin and amphetamine) among them was low. Larger studies will be needed to confirm this observation.

Keywords: Adolescent, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, coffee, Nigeria.


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