Socio-Demographic and Clinical Profiles of Cannabis Abusers Admitted for Treatment in a Tertiary Healthcare Facility in Uyo, South-South Nigeria

Main Article Content

Jombo, Henry Effiong
Alphonsus Udo Idung
Victory Edet Iyanam


Background: Cannabis is one of the commonly abused psychoactive substances worldwide. The increasing abuse of this psychoactive substance is recognized as a significant public health problem in many developing countries. A proper assessment of the patterns and trends of cannabis use disorders will be useful because of the increasing number of cannabis abusers worldwide and demand for appropriate treatment.

Aims: This study examined the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of cannabis abusers admitted for treatment in a tertiary healthcare institution in the South-South region of Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study involving 105 subjects of cannabis abusers admitted for treatment over a one year period from August 2017 to July 2018. Socio-demographic and clinical variables were obtained from a careful chart review using a 35 item questionnaire. Diagnoses were made according to the International Classification of Disease Criteria (ICD-10).

Results: 105 subjects were included in this study. The mean age of patients was 29.71±8.2. The mean age of initiation of substance use was 19.05±3.0 years. Males were predominantly involved in cannabis abuse practices. The age of initiation of substance use was significantly different between the male and female subjects (t=-2.86, P=.009). The age of initiation and duration of substance use was significantly related to the risk of developing substance dependence and psychotic symptoms.

Conclusion: Cannabis was commonly abused by people who were often unemployed, single, young males involved in multiple drug abuse. The low mean duration of use, multiple substance abuses together with increasing frequency of psychiatric morbidity forms a major challenge for our mental health care services. There is the need for preventive, curative, and rehabilitative strategies to reduce the public health impact of this scourge.

Cannabis abuse, treatment seeking, psychiatric morbidity, retrospective study, Nigeria.

Article Details

How to Cite
Effiong, J. H., Idung, A. U., & Iyanam, V. E. (2020). Socio-Demographic and Clinical Profiles of Cannabis Abusers Admitted for Treatment in a Tertiary Healthcare Facility in Uyo, South-South Nigeria. Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22(1), 32-39.
Original Research Article


World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Principles of drug dependence treatment; 2008.
Available: treatment/UNODC-WHO-Principles-of-Drugs-Dependence-

World Health Organization (WHO). Substance abuse.

Drugs UNOo, Crime: World Drug Report 2016: United Nations Publications.

Babalola E, Ogunwale A, Akinhanmi A. Pattern of psychoactive substance use among university students in South-Western Nigeria. Journal of Behavioral Health. 2013;2(4):334–342.

Gebreslassie M, Feleke A, Melese T. Psychoactive substances use and associated factors among Axum University students, Axum Town, North Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2013;13(1). Article 693.

Oshodi O, Aina O, Onajole A. Substance use among secondary school students in an urban setting in Nigeria: Prevalence and associated factors. African Journal of Psychiatry. 2010;13:1.

World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Alcohol, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland; 2004.

Macfadden W, Woody GE. Cannabis related disorders. Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry by Kaplan & Sadock (7th Edition). 2000;990-998.

Gureje O, Degenhardt L, Olley B, Uwakwe R, Udofia O, Wakil A, et al. A descriptive epidemiology of substance use and substance use disorders in Nigeria during the early 21st century. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007;91(1):1–9.

Adamson TA, Onifade PO, Ibikunle OI, Somoye EB. Personality profiles of patients with alcohol and drug misuse in a Nigerian treatment facility. International Psychiatry. 2010;7:95-97.

Adelekan ML. West Africa sub-region: An overview of substance abuse problems. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. 1996;3:231–237.

Muck R, Zempolich KA, Titus JC, Fishman M, Godley MD, Schwebel R. An overview of the effectiveness of adolescent substance abuse treatment models. Youth Soc. 2001;33(2):143–68.

Makanjuola A, Abiodun O, Sajo S. Alcohol and psychoactive substance use among medical students of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. European Scientific Journal. 2014;10(8):69-83.

Adelekan ML, Abiodun OA, Imouokhome-Obayan AO, Oni GA, Ogunremi OO. Psychosocial correlates of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use: Findings from a Nigerian University. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 1993;3:247-256.

Kumar N, Kanchan T, Unnikrishnan B, Thapar R, Mithra P, Vaman K, Papanna MK, Holla, Sarathy S. Profile of substance use among patients attending De-Addiction Centres in a Coastal City of Southern India. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57824.

Shehu AU, Idris SH. Marijuana smoking among secondary school students in Zaria, Nigeria: Factors responsible and effects on academic performance. Ann. Afr. Med. 2008;7:175-179.

Oman T, Victor C, Abdulmoneim A, Mohammed H, Abdalla F, Ahmed A, Ali E, Mohammed W. Epidemiology of substance use among university students in Sudan. Journal of Addiction. 2016;8. Article ID: 2476164.

Mehanovic E, KaurVirk H, Akanidomo I, Pwajok J, Prichard G, Kreeft P, Vigna-Taglianti F. Correlates of cannabis and other illicit drugs use among secondary school adolescents in Nigeria. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2019;206:107457.

Anil B. Addiction in adolescents - A current trend. J Biosci Tech. 2011;2:258–261.

Farhat S, Hussain SS, Rather YH, Hussain SK. Socio-demographic profile and pattern of opioid abuse among patients presenting to a deaddiction centre in tertiary care Hospital of Kashmir. J Basic Clin Pharm. 2015;6(3):94–97.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Vienna. World Drug Report. United Nations; 2013.

Makanjuola B, Daramola OT, Obembe AO. Psychoactive substance use among medical students in a Nigerian university. World Psychiatry. 2007;6(2):112–114.

Deressa D, Azazh A. Substance use and its predictors among undergraduate medical students of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2011;11. Article 660.

Tesfaye G, Derese A, Hambisa MT. Substance use and associated factors among University students in Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Addiction. 2014;8. Article ID: 969837.

Zeese KB, Lewin PM. Reduce drug abuse and use among women, the effective national drug control strategy 1999. Falls Church, VA; 1999.

Chabrol H, Duconge E, Casas C, Roura C, Carey KB. Relations between cannabis use and dependence, motives for cannabis use and anxious, depressive and borderline symptomatology. Addict. Behav. 2005;30:829–840.

Green CA. Gender and use of substance abuse treatment services. Alcohol Res Health. 2006;29:55–62.

Oshodi OJ, Ikeji OC, Olotu SO, Iheyen OF, Obianwu HO. A retrospective study of cannabis use-associated psychopathology in a Southern Nigerian treatment facility. African Journal of Drugs & Alcohol Studies. 2009;8:9-15.

Sarkar J, Murthy P, Singh SP. Psychiatric morbidity of cannabis abuse. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2003;45:182-188.

Wu LT, Swartz MS, Brady KT, Hoyle RH. NIDA AAPI Workgroup Perceived cannabis use norms and cannabis use among adolescents in the United States. J. Psychiatr. Res. 2015;64:79-87.

Wu TL, Zhu H, Swartz MS. Trends in cannabis use disorders among racial/ethnic population groups in the United States. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2016;165:181-190.

Volkow ND, Swanson JM, Evins AE, DeLisi LE, Meier MN, Gonzalez R, Bloomfield MA, Curran HV, Baler R. Effects of cannabis use on human behavior, including cognition, motivation, and psychosis: A review. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73:292-297.

Galvez-Buccollini JA, Proal AC, Tomaselli V, Trachtenberg M, Coconcea C, Chun J, et al. Association between age at onset of psychosis and age at onset of cannabis use in non-affective psychosis. Schizophr Res. 2012;139(1-3):157-160.

More TH, Zammit S, Lingford-Hughes A, Barenes TR, Jones PB, Burk M, et al. Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: A systematic review. Lancet. 2007;370:319-328.

Zammit S, Allebeck P, Andreasson S, Lundberg I, Lewis G. Self-reported cannabis use as a risk factor for schizophrenia further analysis of the 1969 Swedish conscript cohort. British Medical Journal. 2002;325:1199-1201.

Hall W, Degenhardt L, Lynskey M. The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use. Canberra: Australian Publishing Service; 2001.

Zilberman ML, Tavares H, Blume SB, El-Guebaly N. Substance use disorders: Sex differences and psychiatric comorbidities. Can J Psychiatry. 2003;48:5–13.

Dawson DA. Gender differences in the probability of alcohol treatment. J Subst Abuse. 1996;8:211-225.