Published: 2021-07-23

Assessment of knowledge and prevalence of drugs and substance abuse among the students of a selected tertiary health institution in Kano, Nigeria

Abuhuraira Ado Musa, Yusuf Muhammad Abdullahi, Muhammad Nuhu Salihu, Mamman Muhammad Lawal, Solomon Arigwe Joseph, Maryam Dahiru Umar, Faisal Muhammad


Background: Drugs and substance abuse is one of the commonest emerging public health problems among both adults and adolescents in developing countries. This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge and prevalence of drugs and substance abuse among the students of a selected tertiary health institution in Kano, Nigeria.

Methods: A multistage sampling technique was used during selection of the participants and the study was conducted for a period of 4 months (July to November, 2019). A total of 151 students from school of health technology Kano, Nigeria were recruited and the data was collected using a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed by the use of statistical software (SPSS version 20.0) and the results were presented in the form of figures and tables with frequencies and percentage. In addition, a statistical test of significance (x2 test) was applied to determine the significant associations between variables, p≤0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The mean age of study participants was 27.2±6.3 years and majority of them (64.2%) were between 20-25 years. More than nine-tenths (94.0%) of the respondents were Hausa/Fulani, and 32.5% of the respondents were SCHEW students. Little above half (53.6%) of the respondents were earning less than 11000 naira per month and 62.3% of the respondents sourced the information regarding drugs and substance abuse from their friends. All the respondents have seen cigarettes before and 57.6% have seen inhalants (such as glue, petrol etc). Regarding the reason for substance/drug abuse; about 68.9% stated that it’s an addiction and based to the factors enhancing drugs and substance abuse; 72.7% mentioned that it was due to peer pressure, and 72.2% mentioned unemployment. Based on societal factors that promotes drugs and substance abuse; more than three-fifths (64.9%) mentioned that it was reluctant attitude of people and 20.5% mentioned it was some cultural factors.

Conclusions: The prevalence of drug and substance abuse was 18.5%. Nevertheless more than three-fifths of them had good level of knowledge regarding drug and substance abuse. The ethnicity of the respondents was found significantly associated with level of knowledge regarding drug and substance abuse. There is need for more focused attention by parents, teachers, government and general public on the problem of drug and substance use.



Prevalence, Substance/drug abuse, Knowledge, Kano

Full Text:



UNODC. World drug report. USA: United Nations Publication; 2014:11-25.

Global burden of disease study. Mortality and causes of death, global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2013. Lancet. 2014:385:117-71.

Prevention of psychoactive substance use; 2002. Available at: evidence/en/prevention_intro.pdf. Accessed on 8 December, 2020.

Olsson MO, Öjehagen A, Brådvik L, Kronstrand R, Håkansson A. High rates of tramadol use among treatment-seeking adolescents in Malmö, Sweden: a study of hair analysis of nonmedical prescription opioid use. J Addict. 2017;2017:6716929.

Suleiman GT, Adeyemi SO, Adeponle AB. An overview of psychoactive substance use and misuse in northern Nigeria. Nigerian J Psychiat. 2006:4(1):8-14.

Oshodi OY, Onajole AT, Aina OF. Substance use among secondary school students in an urban setting in Nigeria: prevalence and associated factors. Afr J Psychiat. 2010:13:52-7.

Fatoye FO, Morakinyo O. Substance use among secondary school students in rural and urban communities in South Western Nigeria. East Afr Med J. 2002:79(6):299-305.

Omalase CO, Afolabi OT, Omalase BO, Ihemedu CO. Drink-driving among commercial drivers in a Nigerian community. Middle East J Psychiat Alzheim. 2011:2(2):15-8

Fareo DO. Drug Abuse among Nigerian Adolescents Strategies for Counselling. J Int Social Res. 2012:5 (20):1-7.

Gudaji MI, Habib ZG. Socio demographic factors associated with psychoactive substance use among commercial motorcycle operators in Kano, Nigeria. J Psychiat. 2015:6:76-85.

Adeyemo FO, Ohaeri B, Okpala PU, Oghale O. Prevalence of drug abuse amongst university students in Benin City, Nigeria. Public Health Res. 2016:6(2): 31-3.

Anetor GO, Oyekan-Thomas MF. Knowledge and attitude of youths to substance abuse in Alimosho Local Government area of Lagos State. Int J Biol Chem Sci. 2018:12(2): 822-36.

Didarloo A, Pourali R. University Students’ Views Regarding Reasons for Drug Abuse Among Youths. Int J High Risk Behav Addict. 2016:5(1):e24778.

Akinsefunmi B, Rita O, Aminat H, Rufus B. Assessment of substance abuse among students of college of health sciences and technology. Global J Med Res. 2016:16:4.

Kazeem Y. A national Survey has confirmed the massive scale of Nigeria’s drug problem. Available at: Accessed on 11 December 2020.

Malik AA, Nawaz S, Tahir AA, Ahmed S, Hanif N, Aslam J et al. Knowledge and awareness of harmful effect of substance abuse among users and non-users: a cross sectional study. J Pak Med Assoc. 2012;62(4): 412-5.

Adamson TA, Ogunlesi AO, Morakinyo O, Akinhanmi AO, Onifade PO. Descriptive National Survey of Substance Use in Nigeria. J Addict Res Ther. 2015:6:234.