Published: 2017-06-24

Psychoactive substance use in a sample of community outreach participants; prevalence, correlates and ease of incorporating care

Kingsley M. Okonoda, Gabriel N. Mwoltu, Olubukola O. Arigbede, Kenneth Yakubu


Background: The misuse of licit and illicit substances has continued to constitute a profound effect and harm across various societies. This study examined the nature of substance use, abuse and dependence in a community setting in Jos, Plateau State and the ease of carrying out screening, brief intervention and referral for substance use problems.

Methods: Data for this study was gathered through a community-based medical outreach with a total of 1170 residence (M=36.97, SD=15.33), within the research area in participation. A cross-sectional research design was used to examine the prevalence and correlates of psychoactive substance consumption (excluding alcohol).

Results: Analysis revealed that tobacco 51%, marijuana 22%, opioids 15%, sedatives 6%, and amphetamine 2%, were the current most significant substances used within the population. The ASSIST and MINI diagnostic criteria noted a significant rate of substance abuse and dependence (p<0.05) for tobacco, marijuana, amphetamine, inhalants, sedatives, hallucinogens, and opioid. Brief intervention based on the FRAMES techniques as employed in this study, was used in a total of 211 participants among whom 36 further received counseling for substance abuse and 60 were referred for specialized drug treatment therapy due to substance dependence. Gender, living environment, employment status and occupation were significant predictors of substance use across the participants. Specifically, male, participants who have stable accommodation, those with regular employment and students were found to be the group with the most significant rates of substance and substance use disorders.

Conclusions: This study concludes among others, that the ASSIST, MINI and Brief Intervention were indeed effective for substance-related diagnosis in community-based medical programs and can be effectively incorporated into routine services with adequate planning, training and execution.


ASSIST, Brief Intervention, Psychoactive substance use, Substance use disorders, Screening

Full Text:



Firesheets EK, Francis M, Barnum A, Rolf L. Community‐based prevention support: using the interactive systems framework to facilitate grassroots evidenced‐based substance abuse prevention. Am J Comm Psychol. 2012;50(3-4), 347-56.

Sussman SY, Ames SL. The social psychology of drug abuse. Buckingham: Open University Press; 2001:53-78.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. World Drug Report 2014 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.14.XI.7).

Miller WR, Rollnick S. Preparing people to change addictive behavior. 1991- New York: Guilford Press.

Bien TH, Miller WR, Tonigan JS. Brief interventions for alcohol problems: a review. Addiction. 1993;88(3):315-36.

Humeniuk R, Ali R. World Health Organization, ASSIST Phase II Study Group. Validation of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) and pilot brief intervention [electronic resource]: A technical report of phase II findings of the WHO ASSIST Project.

Brief Intervention WH. Study Group. A cross-national trial of brief interventions with heavy drinkers. Am J Public Health. 1996;86:948-55.

Adelekan ML. Self-reported drug use among secondary school students in the Nigerian State of Ogun. Bull Narcotics. 1989;41(1):109-16.

Akanni OO, Adayonfo EO. Correlates of psychoactive substance use among Nigerian adolescents. Sahel Med J. 2015;18(4):192.

Alti-Muazu M, Aliyu AA. Use of psychoactive substances among commercial motorcyclists in Zaria, Nigeria. Ann Afr Med. 2008;7(2):67-71.

Gureje O, Obikoya B, Ikuesan BA. Prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders in an urban primary care setting. East Afr Med J. 1992;69(5):282-7.

Gureje O, Degenhardt L, Olley B, Uwakwe R, Udofia O, Wakil A, et al. A descriptive epidemiology of substance use and substance use disorders in Nigeria during the early 21st century. Drug Alcohol Dependence. 2007;91(1):1-9.

Okpataku CI, Kwanashie HO, Ejiofor JI, Olisah VO. Prevalence and socio-demographic risk factors associated with psychoactive substance use in psychiatric out-patients of a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Nigerian Med J. 2014;55(6):460.

Humeniuk R, Henry-Edwards S, Ali R, Poznyak V, Monteiro MG, World Health Organization. The ASSIST-linked brief intervention for hazardous and harmful substance use: a manual for use in primary care.

Sheehan D, Lecrubier Y, Sheehan KH, Sheehan K, Amorim P, Janavs J, et al. Diagnostic Psychiatric Interview for DSM-IV and ICD-10. J Clin Psychiatr. 1998;59:22-33.

Okonoda KM, Mwoltu GN, Yakubu K, James BO. Alcohol use disorders among participants of a community outreach in Jos, Nigeria: Prevalence, Correlates and ease of acceptance of Brief Intervention. J Med Sci Clin Res. 2017;5(5):22049-56.

Oladele AA, Olufunmilayo EA. Pattern of Substance Abuse among Senior Secondary School Students in a Southwestern Nigerian City. Int Rev Soc Sci Humanities. 2013;4(2):54-65.

Rudatsikira E, Maposa D, Mukandavire Z, Muula AS, Siziya S. Prevalence and predictors of illicit drug use among school-going adolescents in Harare, Zimbabwe. Ann Afr Med. 2009;8(4).

Soyibo K, Lee MG. Use of illicit drugs among high-school students in Jamaica. Bull World Health Organization. 1999;77(3):258-62.

Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Miech RA, Bachman JG, Schulenberg JE. Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2013: overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor (MI): Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; 2015.

Adamson TA, Ogunlesi AO, Morakinyo O, Akinhanmi AO, Onifade PO, Erinosho O, et al. Descriptive national survey of substance use in Nigeria. J Addict Res Ther. 2015;6(3).

Obot IS. The use of tobacco products among Nigerian adults: a general population survey. Drug Alcohol Dependence. 1990;26(2):203-8.

UNDCP. Report of the rapid situation assessment of drug abuse In Nigeria. Nigeria. 1999.

Degenhardt L, Chiu WT, Sampson N, Kessler RC, Anthony JC, Angermeyer M, et al. Toward a global view of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine use: findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. PLoS Med. 2008;5(7):e141.

Coulthard M, Farrell M, Singleton N, Meltzer H. Tobacco, alcohol and drug use and mental health. London: The Stationery Office. 2002.

Adamson TA, Ogunlesi AO, Morakinyo O, Akinhanmi AO, Onifade PO, Erinosho O, et al. Descriptive national survey of substance use in Nigeria. J Addict Res Ther. 2015;6(3).

Compton WM, Thomas YF, Stinson FS, Grant BF. Prevalence, correlates, disability, and comorbidity of DSM-IV drug abuse and dependence in the United States: results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatr. 2007;64(5):566-76.

Anyanwu OU, Ibekwe RC, Ojinnaka NC. Pattern of substance abuse among adolescent secondary school students in Abakaliki. Cogent Medicine. 2016:1272160.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHSA). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drugs and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD. 2014;1-70.

Gryczynski J, Kelly SM, Mitchell SG, Kirk A, O'grady KE, Schwartz RP. Validation and performance of the alcohol, smoking and substance involvement screening test (ASSIST) among adolescent primary care patients. Addiction. 2015;110(2):240-7.

Assanangkornchai S, Balthip Q, Edwards JG. Implementing the alcohol, smoking, substance involvement screening test and linked brief intervention service in primary care in Thailand. J Public Health. 2014;36(3):443-9.

Myers B, Stein DJ, Mtukushe B, Sorsdahl K. Feasibility and acceptability of screening and brief interventions to address alcohol and other drug use among patients presenting for emergency services in Cape Town, South Africa. Adv Prevent Med. 2012;2012.

Lasebikan V, Ola BA, Ayinde OO. Effectiveness of alcohol, smoking, and substance involvement screening test-linked brief intervention on harmful and hazardous alcohol use in Nigerian Semirural Communities: A Non-Randomized Intervention Study. Frontiers Psychiatr. 2017;8.