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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 532-537

Substance use and associated factors among junior students in a public secondary school in an urban local government area in Rivers State, Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt; Department of Community Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Esther Ibinabo Azi
Department of Community Medicine, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_51_21

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Background: Adolescents (aged 10–19 years) are at risk of using substances, as they are known to be impressionable and eager to please. This study set out to investigate the prevalence of substance use and associated factors among junior secondary students (JSSs) in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area (LGA), Rivers State, Nigeria. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study employing two-stage sampling was used in this survey to select 398 JSSs in a public secondary school in Obio Akpor LGA. Data were collected using an adapted self-administered WHO Students' Drug Use Questionnaire, analyzed using IBM SPSS version 21.0 software, and statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 12.9 (standard deviation = 1.6) years with males accounting for 179 (45%) of respondents. The lifetime prevalence for substance use was 37 (9.4%), while those currently using substances were 4 (1.0%). Alcohol ranked the highest with 17 (45.9%) as the most frequently used substance. Eight (50%) respondents cited street vendors as their main source of getting substances. Of those who used substances, 4 (50%) did so to boost their intelligence. More males reported substance use and this was significant (χ2 = 5.1, P = 0.02; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =2.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03–4.21) and being in Class 2 and 3 (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.11–4.88) predicted the likelihood of ever using substances. Conclusion: Substance use is present among JSSs though the prevalence is low. This presents an opportunity for primary prevention activities to address future substance use in this age cohort.


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