General Respondents Knowledge on Drug/Substance Abuses Prevalence in Nigeria
Responses on Taking the Drugs/Substance of Abuse
The first question in the series reads thus: do you take any illicit drug or substances of addiction?
In reply to the above question, out of total 388 respondents, 374 (96.39%) responded in affirmative that they are currently addicted to taking one or more drug/substance while only 14 others (3.61%) stated that they were once engaged in the act but are no longer into it as at the time of the survey.
Responses on Initiating Factor(s) That Influence Starting Using Drug/Substance
On the reasons for starting using the addicted drug/substance, majority of the respondents (approximately 65%) combined two or more responses as factors that made an influence on them. About 35% gave sole response of either “peer pressure”, “psychological problems like depression, frustration, insomnia, etc.”, or “easy accessibility and availability of the substances with means of purchase” as their initiating factor.
In addition, about 14 respondents selected “others” as their choice for starting, with specific reasons like “curiosity”, “to impress during a casual party” and “just to have fun.” However, the addicts opined that “mass media adverts” and “school failures” were very less influential to them as expressed by 2.06% and 3.35% respectively. The results on the overall responses to the various statements are summarized in the table 12 below:
Table 12: Responses on initiating factor(s) that influence starting using the drug/substance
|Initiating Factor Variables||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Mass Media Adverts||08||2.06|
|Easy Accessibility & Availability of the substances||84||21.65|
Response on the Types of Drug/Substances Started with.
According to the obtained data, cough syrups were the most likely (21.13%) the initial drug abused in totality. Tobacco came second (18.81%), then marijuana/cannabis (‘ganyen wee-wee’ in local parlance, about 13.40%). Tramadol is next (12.90%). There are 7.22% of Heroin addicts in the surveyed. Alcohol was found to be the least starting substance by the addicts and all the respondents that started it were identified as adults. There are no reports of females started with marijuana/cannabis or tramadol.
|Types of substances Started with||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Cough syrups (Codeine)||82||21.13|
Response on the Types of Drug/Substances Currently Abused
As cough-syrups were reported the most likely (21.13%) the initial drug abused, it also take the lead (43.11%) in terms of drugs/substances currently been abused by majority of the addicts. A significant number (15.21%) of them are currently abusing marijuana the most. Heroin and Tramadol rate of abuse has also increased slightly higher from 7.22% and 12.90 to 10.31% 13.40 respectively. In contrast, the abuse of tobacco at the moment has partially reduced from initial usage of 18.81% to 16.24%.
Marijuana and cough-syrup abuse was significantly more likely among younger drug abusers than among older ones.
|Types of substances Started with||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Cough syrups (Codeine)||112||28.86|
Response on the Supposed Benefits Gained by the Addicts as a result of taking the Drug/Substances.
When a question, “what benefit do you think you gain from taking such drugs/substances?” was posed to the addicts, about one quarter of them chose two or more options as their answers. The remaining ones selected only one option. The table below give depiction of the responses:
|Variables of Assumed Benefits gained from the substances||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|To overcome psychological problems/stress||90||23.20|
|To keep you awake so as to study well in school||11||2.84|
|To gain strength in order to exert more power in doing work||93||23.96|
|To feel among friends||40||10.31|
|To conform with society’s perception||5||1.29|
|To be able to sleep well||63||16.24|
The findings indicated that “to overcome psychological problems/stress” and “to gain much strength in order to exert more power in doing work” were the leading reasons provided by the addicts as benefits they drive from taking the drug/substance they are addicted. However, “to conform to society’s perception” was found to be the least reason, and hence it can be assumed that such society abhors substance abuse. Similarly, to be awake so as to read well in school is also very less reason as benefits gained, which explained the peculiarity of the people as majority were not in studying in schools.
Response on Source of Money to Purchase the Substances
As indicated under the employment status of the respondents, about 25.51% of them were jobless, while about 22.94% were working as public servants or running business; the remaining ones comprises of students and those that chose “others”.
In reply to how they source money for the purchase of such drugs/substances, about 9.79% stated that it is their personal savings they use. 10.57% said they were getting money from their family members and relatives as gift token. Those that indicated business earnings as their source of incomes were 15.21%, borrowing/loan constituted 14.43%, while 15.98% admitted to generating the money through resorting to illegal means stealing, burglary, engaging in thuggery, etc. Gender-wise, males are most likely to be engaged in such vices, while female respondents claimed to source the money they used to purchase such drugs/substances from gift token from boyfriends and prostitution
Earnings from hard labour carried only 9.28%. The remaining respondents (24.74%) indicated others. Some females mentioned “free gift from boyfriends” and “prostitution” as last resort (other means) of getting their money to purchase the “stuff”.
|Sources of Income to Purchase the /Drugs/Substances||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Any illegal means of getting money e.g. stealing, etc.||62||15.98|
|Earnings from hard labour||36||9.28|
Response on How Long into Taking the Drug/Substances
On number of years or months spent indulging in the substances, some addicts (14.18%) stated less than a year, majority of them (22.42%) indicated one year. Two years of consumption was recorded from 16.24% of the addicts, a period of 3 years was mentioned by 9.79%, some (9.02) reported 4 years and 5 years was chosen by 13.92%. On average, the abusers had abused the drug/substances for 3.7 years.
|Duration of Addiction||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Less than a year (e.g. Six months)||55||14.18|
Response on Frequency of Taking the Substances
On how frequent the addicts take the substances, an open question with blank space was provided to fill. Majority of the addicts responded with different figures as what they consumed on daily, weekly and monthly basis. The variations in figures depend squarely on the type of the substances and severity of addiction by the respondents. Accordingly, about one third confessed to take too much on average scale compared to other addicts encountered.
Some sampled responses in this regard include: two (2) times per day, once in a week, twice in a month, etc.
Response on Effects of the Drugs/Substances on the Addicts
The aftermath experiences of the drug/substances been taken by addicts have various ome respondents
|Effects Experienced due to Addiction of Drug/substance||Frequency||Percentage (%)|
|Loss of Appetite||13|
Response on Mode of intake of the substances
According about a quarter (25.52%) of the respondents, the mode of taking their drug/substance of abuse was ingestion/swallowing. This gives further clarity that cough syrups were widely consumed in the area more than any other substance. 14.18% mentioned smoking (implying marijuana, cigarette, etc) as their mode of intake while only 6.96% indicated sniffing/inhaling as their method of intake. Injection (with syringe, needle or any other pointed sharp objects) constituted only 5.93% while drinking has 13.14%. Chewing recorded 12.37%, on the other hand, others constituted about 21.91% (most likely to be kolanut and the likes). The table below summarized these findings:
Response on Negative Action Ever Encountered/Performed
On the issue of any negative action performed or problem ever encountered by the respondents owing to their addiction, 14.95% mentioned theft/stealing as what they had engaged in as a result of their addiction attitude. Very few (4.38%) selected ‘school dropping out’ as their negative action. 5.67% mentioned ‘strained relationship with loved ones’ as their point of regret in life. 6.70% (most likely to be females) indicated ‘prostitution’ while 20.10% confessed to engaged in political thuggery, fighting, among other social vices. A small number mentioned ‘contracting other diseases as the negative consequence they had encountered in their lives while the largest percent (44.33%) indicated others.
|School Dropping Out||17||4.38|
|Strained Relationship with Loved Ones||22||5.67|
|Engaging in Social Vices like Thuggery, fighting, etc.||78||20.10|
|Contracting other Diseases||15||3.87|
Response on Ever Being Tired and Quitting Attempt
When asked if the addicts had ever got tired of taking the drugs/substance of addiction and attempted to quit, about 67.53% gave positive answers “Yes”. Some of them had tried for self-detoxification, while others had passed home based supervised treatment where they were confined indoors by their parents/guardians, but none reported to had ever gone to any treatment centre. This indicates lack of drug addiction treatment centre, facilities and services in the areas. When asked, “Why they relapsed (started again)?” Some said to avoid “medical complications they experienced,” while others said, “To avoid” and peer influence.
The rest of the respondents (32.47%) stated that they had never got tired and attempted to quit drug/substance abuse.
Table on Response of Being tired and Quitting Attempt
Response on Usual Amount of Money Spend in Purchasing the Substances
This question is opened-ended one, designed to estimate and elicit the amount of money usually spent by the addicts in purchasing the substances they were addicted to. In the space provided, some respondents wrote N1, 500 per bottle of cough syrup, some mentioned N500 daily, some spent 1,200 etc. These amounts depend on the type of the substance, its ease of accessibility and availability within the vicinity.
Response on Whether Somebody So Close to the Addicts Ever Reprimanded Them
Many (46.13%) responded in affirmative that some of their close relatives and acquaintances had reprimanded them on their attitude of drug/substance abuse while majority chose “No.” Those that admitted to have been reprimanded mentioned parents, school teachers, and elders of the community, among people that admonished them on the dangers associated with the abuse.
Response on Experiencing Any Form of Stigmatization or Discrimination
Majority of the respondents (73.71%) expressed displeasure that owing to them being addicts, they have being highly stigmatized and discriminated by even people that are closely related to them as well as the law enforcement agents and the public health providers. They complained about people’s attitude towards them because, according them, they were treated as outcasts and criminals rather than helpless human beings that are sick and need treatment. This is serious because the feeling of being marginalised was compounded by some inferiority complex and hence potentials of being productive ones in the society are overshadowed.
The remaining 26.29% admitted not had ever encountered any form of stigmatization or discrimination from anyone.
Response on Perception of the Addicts on Whether a Habit of Drug Taking Has Detrimental Effects on their Wellbeing
A substantial number of the addict respondents (55.15%) stated positively that they are aware of many detrimental effects of the drug/substances they are taking. The remaining ones (44.85%) dismissed the notion it has no any detrimental effects of the substances they are taking on their physical and psychological well-being. They gave different reasons like: “It boost my strength and drive away every pain in my body,” “I don’t take it too much to an extent of losing my senses,” “I have been using this substance for more than 15 years and nothing bad has ever happened to me.”
Response on Awareness of any Rehabilitation Programme
On being aware of any rehabilitation programme, very few (4.64%) responded in affirmative that they had heard of rehabilitation programmes. In contrast, majority mentioned to be unaware of any existing rehabilitation programme. This implied that the area under survey lack basic rehabilitation units and services and therefore need such programmes urgently.
Response on Whether the Addicts Had Ever Undergone Counselling
The findings from this question revealed that majority (93.81%) had not undergone any counselling advice ever since they began indulgence in drug/substance abuse. Only 6.19% gave opposing views whereby nearly half of them mentioned NDLEA as the organisation that offered them when they were arrested in relation to the abuses (in custody). The rest mentioned schools as place they got counselling lectures against dangers of drug/substance abuse.
Response on Ever Being Arrested/Convicted in Relation to Drug/Substance Abuse
More than half (73.97%) of the respondents mentioned that they were arrested once or more times and even convicted in connection to drug/substances abuse. Some of them stated that they had committed some offences as a result and served jail terms. However, 26.03 said they were never being arrested or convicted because of their addiction attitude.
Response on What to Feel When One’s Dear Person Start Taking Drug/Substance of Abuse
According significant number (29.90%) of the respondents, they will feel bad and unhappy when any of their dear ones, for instance, parents, siblings, offspring and other relatives, start indulgence in drug/substance abuse. Few among them claimed to be unperturbed while the view of the majority was uncertain as they mentioned. The table below depicts the divergent views by the respondents on this question:
Response on Any Word of Advice to People Not into Drugs Abuse Yet
On whether the respondents have any word of advice to people that are yet indulge themselves in drug/substance abuse, about one third of them (36.86%) answered ‘Yes’ and gave some simple pieces of advice like, “Don’t start!” The remaining ones declined to give any advice as shown by the following table:
Response on Any Other Drug/Substance Likely to be Abused but Remains Unknown
In reply to any knowledge on drug/substance that is being abused but government policy-makers and general public are not aware of, some 19.59% of the respondents gave positive responses. A certain respondent stated that, “Now that opiate cough syrup is very expensive to be afforded and it is difficult to get, we take ordinary paracetamol tablet the first thing in the morning, it would make you fly in the sky.” Another one said, “Top Bond is the answer.”
Others responded simply with ‘No.’