Aim: To assess prevalence and use of codeine as substance of abuse among undergraduate students
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 380 students of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. The respondents were selected by multistage sampling method; all the students were stratified based on the faculties, departments and year of study. The sampling ratio for each year of study was calculated and a proportional allocation was carried out. Simple random sampling was applied to select the number of students from each year of study by using table of random numbers. Structured, pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire and In-Depth Interviews were the tools used for data collection. Data was analyzed using IBM SPSS version 20.0 and level of significance was set at p < 0.05.
Result: About one quarter 88(23.2%) of the respondents were currently using codeine, 160(42.1%) had used codeine in the past while above two third 276(72.6%) were aware of the additive potential of codeine. Majority 296(77.9%) of the respondents were aware of the harmful effect of codeine to self and the reasons for continuous usage varies from enhancement of performance 25(6.6%), for confidence 20 (5.3%) and leisure 7(1.8%).
Conclusion: About one quarter of the respondents were currently using codeine despite the fact that majority of the respondents were aware of the harmful effect of codeine to self. The health education program on codeine abuse and its associated problems should be directed more at undergraduates, and the accessibility to codeine drinks on campus should be regulated by appropriate authorities.