PSYCHOACTIVE DRUG ABUSE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OSUN STATE OF NIGERIA AND THE COUNSELLING IMPLICATIONS

The use and misuse of psychoactive substances among adolescents are increasing in Africa. While heavy episodic drinking among adolescents in Nigeria is growing, there are no written alcohol control policies to regulate the production and availability of alcohol. This article describes the patterns and determinants of alcohol use among Nigerian adolescents in secondary school. Nineteen quantitative studies published in peer-reviewed English language-based journals were reviewed. The results reveal more current and lifetime alcohol use among males than females. The findings also reveal that the motives for using alcohol include staying awake in order to study at night, drinking to forget one’s problems, drinking to alleviate anxiety and drinking to enjoy festivals. Similarly, the results reveal that peer pressure in the form of drinking to satisfy friends or to not be seen as different from one’s group predicted alcohol use, while multiple substance-related problems were reported among substance users.

Amongst other factors, the non-existence of alcohol control policies, which increased alcohol availability, was associated with alcohol use. This article discusses the implications of these findings, the possible re-orientation of Nigerian adolescents, the formulation of effective alcohol policies and suggested further research.