Keme Kelvin Yenagoa, Joshua Eniojukan, Ganiyu Kehind and Owonaro Peter
Substance abuse is common among teens and young adults. It has become a public health problem in Nigeria and other parts of the world. There is a need for a thorough empirical investigation of substance abuse prevalence and the associated effects on Bayelsa State’s secondary and university school students. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and patterns of substance abuse among tertiary and secondary school students in Bayelsa State of Nigeria. The study is a descriptive correlational cross-sectional study. The sampling technique used was simple random sampling. Ethical approval was obtained from the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health Research and Ethics Committee, the principal, the University Ethics community, and the local council areas’ ethics committees. A sampling frame was made for six faculties in Niger Delta University namely: Pharmacy, Engineering, Art, Social Sciences, Management, and Sciences. Likewise, this was done for the different classes in the Secondary School from junior secondary two to senior secondary three. The sample size for this study was 308 for secondary school and 384 for tertiary school (n=692). A structured questionnaire was used to collect data and analyzed it. A total of 68.4% of respondents were males. The prevalence rate (61.6%) of respondents, use of drugs two three times or more for non-medical purposes (69.1%), and abuse of more than one drug/substance (40.0%). Respondents (69.1%) had either used drugs two to three times or more not for medical purposes. Data from the study revealed 59.5% abuse of a substance(s) or drug(s) for non-medical use in the last month. Furthermore, the study revealed that 56.2% of drugs/substances are mostly abused in the solid State. The institutions were associated with the prevalence of substance abuse. Therefore, the government and all relevant agencies need to take appropriate steps in curbing this menace, putting strategic measures and interventions capable of arresting substance abuse among tertiary and secondary school students.
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