Objective: To assess the knowledge and prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse among secondary school students in a rural community in south-south Nigeria with a view to minimizing the indulgence of students in illicit drugs.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 187 senior secondary school students. Data collection was by interviewer administered questionnaires focusing on knowledge of alcohol and drug abuse, commonly abused drugs and the prevalence of drug abuse. A multistage sampling was utilized in selecting the participants which allowed for all participants to have equal chance of being selected for the study. Data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS version 20.0.Results were presented in tables and frequency distributions. Test of association between commonly abused drugs and knowledge of drug and alcohol abuse were carried out using chi square test and fisher’ exact. Statistical significance was set at p <0.05. Prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse was determined by finding the proportion of respondents who take alcohol or illicit drugs. Respondents who had a knowledge score equivalent of 50% where regarded as having good knowledge of drug and alcohol abuse while those with knowledge score of less than 50% where regarded as having poor knowledge of drug and alcohol abuse.
Results: A total of 187 participants were interviewed. About two-third of the respondents (63.1%) were within the age group of 15-17 years with a mean age (years) of16.02±1.72.Most of the respondents (91.4%) had poor knowledge of drug and alcohol abuse .The prevalence of alcohol abuse was 21.9% while that of drug was 20.9%.The most commonly abused drugs included caffeine 5.9%, codeine 5.3%, marijuana 3.2%, Nicotine 2.1% and cocaine 1.6%.
Conclusion: The prevalence of substance abuse among the secondary school students were alcohol 21.9%, caffeine 5.9%, codeine 5.3%, marijuana 3.2%, Nicotine 2.1% and cocaine 1.6%