ASSESSMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICE, PREVALENCE AND PATTERN OF DRUG ABUSE AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN ABIA STATE, SOUTHEAST NIGERIA
Prince Ezenwa Onyemachi, *Nneka Chioma Okoronkwo and Chukwuemeka Ngozi Onyearugha
Journal Title:International Journal Of Modern Pharmaceutical Research
Background: Every year, thousands of drug addicts die as a result of drug over dose. Forty seven percent of adolescents/youths between 15 and 26 years of age have already tried at least one kind of illicit drug. Aims: To determine the knowledge, practice, prevalence and pattern of drug abuse among adolescents in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. A questionnaire was used to retrieve information on drug abuse from adolescents and youths aged 15–26 years. Information retrieved were social/ demographic data, level of knowledge on drug abuse, practice of drug abuse and type of substance abused. Results: There were 180 respondents with a male: female ratio of 1: 1.3. The age range was 15-26 years with a mean age of 20.5 ± 23 years. Eighty (44.4%) of the respondents were teenagers. Less than 50% of the respondents understood the full meaning of drug abuse. Majority (77.8%) of the study population started abusing drugs as a result of peer pressure. A small but significant percentage (22.2%) of the respondents were introduced to drug abuse from watching either or both of their parents abuse drugs. The prevalence of drug abuse was 77.8%. All the drug abusers were males (p=0.001). Tramadol (80.6%) followed by alcohol (66.7%) were the most abused drugs respectively. Cocaine (16.7%) was the least abused of the substances. Conclusion: The knowledge of drug abuse among our cohort was low. Peer pressure was the most identified risk for drug abuse. The prevalence of drug abuse among the adolescents was very high. Tramadol was the most abused drug.