Prevalence and Impacts of Psychoactive Substance Abuse amongst Undergraduate University Students in Katsina State, Nigeria

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria AND West African Academy of Public Health, Abuja, Nigeria

2 Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

3 Medecins Sans Frontieres Operation Center Barcelona and Athens. Shinkafi Project, Zamfara State, Nigeria

4 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria


Background: Drug and substance abuse among university students is of public health concern and is 
becoming a global threat to the education system. This is more devastating to the academic performance of 
the addicts. The present study aims to assess the prevalence and impacts of psychoactive substance abuse 
among the university undergraduate students in Katsina State, Nigeria, and to determine the effects of such 
abuses on the students’ academic performance.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using online survey tool (Google Form) validated by content 
validity and pilot study. The hyperlink to the online survey tool was shared with undergraduate students 
from three universities located in Katsina State via emails and social media platforms, namely WhatsApp, 
Facebook, and Twitter. Data collected from eligible participants were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Findings: A total of 308 students from the three universities returned the online questionnaire, of which 
67.2% were men and 32.8% were women. Among the respondents, 37% admitted practicing drug and/or 
substance abuse. Majority of them (56.2%) were third-year students in the age range of 20-25 years.

Conclusion: Drug and substance abuse among the undergraduate university students in Katsina State is 
common, and it cuts across both male and female students. Concerted efforts towards parental support and 
supervisions, social intervention programs, and campus-based prevention and supported programs against 
drug and substance abuse should be encouraged.