Psychoactive Substance Use Among Long Distance Vehicle Drivers In Ilorin, Nigeria

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Nigerian Society of Psychiatrists.


Abstract Background Globally, the association between psychoative substance use and accidental injury or death has been acknowledged, with efforts being made to reduce accident rates in all means of transportation. While many studies have examined the use of psychoactive substances among many occupational groups, including drivers, not many has focused on substances use among long distance vehicle drivers. Aim We determined the prevalence, pattern and factors associated with the use of psychoactive substances among long distance vehicle (LDV) drivers in Ilorin, Nigeria. Method All consecutive consenting LDV drivers seen at the study period were interviewed using a modified, pilot-tested, semi-structed self-report questionnaire based on the World Health Organisation\'s guideliness for student\'s substance use survey. Result It was found that the most currently used psychoactive substances were mild stimulants (31.9%), cigrattes (30.4%), anabolic steroids (27.5%) and alcohol (15.9%). Except for cigrattes, the other substances were used mainly for instrumental purposes. Only about 50% of the respondents had ever attended a health talk on drug abuse. High level of religiousity was less likely to be associated with current use of mild stimulants and sedatives. Current use of sedatives was also significantly associated with poor mental health. Conclusion With only 50% exposure to drug abuse campaign among drivers, we suggest that more efforts should be made to enlighten LDV drivers on the dangers of substances use and abuse. Such campaigns should take advantage of religion and the strong influence of the Driver\'s Unions on member. These efforts, we hope, will go a long way in reducing loss of lives and properties on our roads. Though no significant association was found between current drug use and rate of accidents, we suggest a larger scope study be conducted to corroborate or refute this finding. Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 5 (1) 2007: pp. 14-18.




Makanjuola B.A., Oyeleke S.A & Akande T.M. (2007): Psychoactive substance use among long distance vehicle drivers in Ilorin, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry. 5(1): 14-18. An official publication of Nigerian Society of Psychiatrists