Pattern of Substance Use Among Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Personnell at Sam Ethanan Air Force Base, Ikeja-Lagos, Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJCR.2014.03.01.Art023

Authors : Bashir Adam Yakasai


Objective: The study examined the pattern of Substance Use among the Nigerian Air Force Personnel.

Method: All the participants were airforce personnel. Officers and Men were randomly selected (N=250) and each subject was assessed using; 1) a Health Questionnaire {that assessed socio-demographic variables as well as the pattern of use and consumption of liquor), 2) Alcohol and drug sections of the Schedule for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN), and the 28 – item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ -28). The personnel were informed that completion and returning the questionnaires would indicate consent to participate in the research.

Results: One hundred and ninety males and sixty females comprising officers and men participated. The mean age of the group was 30.9 years, with a range of 21 – 44 years; SD 4.35. One hundred and eight (42.6 percent) were 20 – 29 years, while one hundred and thirty (52 percent) were 30 – 39 years, and Twelve (5.4 percent) were 40 and above years. The difference in mean age between officers and men was not statistically significant following analysis of variance (ANOVA), F=2.59, P=0.148. The most commonly used substances were mild stimulants (coffee and kolanuts), alcohol, cigarette, cannabis, and hypnosadatives in that order. About the same trend was observed for the lifetime use. As many as 158 (63.3 %) of the respondents were current users of alcohol and almost everyone in the sample 92% have used alcohol in their lifetime. Fifteen 6% of the respondents were currently using cannabis, while 18.7% were lifetime users. Disorders were recorded for past year (ie criteria met within the previous 12 months) and lifetime (ever met criteria) using SCAN. Overall, 21 (8.3%) and 6 (2.3%) of the respondents DSM 1V diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence respectively in the past year; Eleven (4.7%) and 13 (5.3%)met the criteria for nicotine abuse and dependence respectively in the past year; 10 (4.0%) and 3 (1.0%)met the criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence respectively in the past year. A total of 42 respondents (16.8%) scored eight and above on the GHQ-28 scale. Thus the probable psychiatric morbidity rate for the cohort was about 17%.


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