Pattern of Psychoactive Substance Use among Undergraduate Students of Faculty of Engineering in a Nigerian University

Murtala, H.H., Kamilu, A., Haddad, M.M., Ibrahim, A.H., Bako, D.G., Bawa, N.S., Tajudeen, S.M. and Usman, A.

Keywords: Pattern of psychoactive use, reasons for use, sources of influence, Undergraduate student, Nigerian university


Psychoactive substance use among undergraduate students has become an increasing public health and social problem in both developed and developing countries, with mood changing effects, intoxication, or altered selfimage as the potential side effect. The study set out to identify the pattern of use, the sources of influence and reasons for, psychoactive substance use among undergraduate students of faculty of Engineering, Bayero University Kano. A cross sectional study design was used. A total of 379 students were recruited using a multistaging sampling technique. A questionnaire was adopted from model student questionnaire. Data obtained were organized and analyzed with SPSS Version 20. Spearman’s ranked order Correlations was used to test age, ethnic group and pattern of psychoactive substance and age with reasons for psychoactive substance use. The results indicated that; majority (90.0%) of the respondents were males with 50.8% within 21-25 years of age (mean age of 24 ±2 years). Most pattern used in abusing drugs were drinking (68.6%), smoking (67.5%), chewing (38.0%) and inhaling (33.0%). The major source of influence included friends (85.6%), parties (78.1%) and truancy (63.1%) although, relief of hunger, cold (n=355, 98.6%), curiosity (n=350, 97.2%), enjoyment (n=316, 87.8%), socialization (n=314, 87.2%), enable prolonged reading (n=311, 86.4%), acceptance (n=217, 60.3%), and relief of psychological stress (n=211, 58.6%) were identified as the most reasons for abusing drugs. Positive correlation was identified between age, ethnic group and pattern of psychoactive substance and age with the reasons for psychoactive substance use. Universities in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should embark on grassroots awareness and sensitization campaign on the risks and effects of substance abuse.