A Survey on Substance Abuse in Northern Nigeria
The northern region of Nigeria has been repeatedly reported to have a high intake of drugs and hence the need to explicitly determine the pattern of abuse. Questionnaires were administered to 350 drug users across northern Nigeria with 85% estimated response rate. The questionnaire targeted the types of drugs abused (traditional drugs, prescription drugs and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)), age of first intake, frequency of intake, duration of exposure, place of purchase, and mode of administration. About 100 drugs/substances were reported to be consumed by respondents 5.71% were traditional drugs, 35.71% were prescription drugs and 58.57% were NPS. The leading drugs in the three drug classes include cannabis (83.7%), cough syrups (30.1%), and solution (45.2%). Ages 20-24, 25-29 and 30-34 cohorts were the major consumers of drugs of abuse, all in the middle class. Traditional drugs and NPS were majorly purchased on the streets (78.9% and 74.6% respectively) while for prescription drugs, the purchase was done from the pharmacy (51%). For all drug classes, the majority of the respondents admitted to oral administration of the substances. This research has indicated the pattern of substance abuse to be prescription drugs and NPS.