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Annals of African Medicine
Annals of African Medicine Society
ISSN: 1596-3519
Vol. 3, No. 3, 2004, pp. 111-115
Bioline Code: am04028
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Annals of African Medicine, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2004, pp. 111-115

 en Psychosocial Dynamics of Psychoactive Substance Misuse Among Nigerian Adolescents
Omigbodun, O. O. & Babalola, O.


Background: Psychoactive substance misuse has for many years been an issue of increasing health and social importance in Nigeria. This is especially so for the critical adolescent period marked by several changes including the psychological phenomenon of experimentation. Studies carried out in the last two decades in Nigeria have identified adolescents as a major group involved in the use of psychoactive substances. However, most studies employed quantitative methods to gather information on drug misuse. In developing programmes for prevention and control of drug misuse it is important to complement quantitative information with qualitative data. This article reviews the available data on drug use in Nigerian adolescents and utilises a qualitative method to explore the psychosocial dynamics of drug use among adolescents.
Methods: Review of current literature on drug use among adolescents in Nigeria and in-depth interviews of two adolescents with poly-drug misuse to identify psychosocial dynamics surrounding their use of psychoactive substances.
Results: Surveys suggest that in both in-and out-of-school adolescents, the socially acceptable drugs like alcohol and cigarettes are commonly used. The patients interviewed illustrate the important 'gateway' theory of drug progression. Psychological dynamics identified include peer pressure, experimentation and conduct problems while social factors include poverty, family problems, and social acceptability of local alcoholic drinks like palm-wine.
Conclusion: These identified factors must be utilised in developing drug prevention programmes. The public health implications of the social acceptability of palm wine, especially its consumption by children, needs to be further explored

Psychoactive substance, misuse, adolescents

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