n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Is dried paw-paw leaf as a psychoactive substance?
|Article Title||Is dried paw-paw leaf as a psychoactive substance?|
|© Publisher:||IFE Centre for Psychological Studies (ICPS)|
|Journal||IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal|
|Publication Date||Mar 2007|
|Pages||25 - 39|
While many studies have looked at the prevalence and pattern as well as effects of drug abuse and dependence among Nigerians, the use of dried paw-paw leaf as a psychoactive substance has not been investigated. This study examines the attitude and perception towards dried paw-paw leaf as a psychoactive substance among purposive sampled drug users who were all students of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. A cross-sectional design involving both a qualitative and quantitative approach was used to elicit information from five hundred (500) purposive respondents. There were two hundred and ninety-six (59.2%) males and two hundred and four (40.8%) females. Males age ranges from 16 - 28 years (24.6 ± 5.4), while female age ranges from 19 - 24 years (21.6 ± 4.2). Mean years of education for males was 15.3, ± 3.8, while mean years of education for females was 14.9, ± 2.1. Results indicated that 65.6% of the sample agreed that paw-paw leaf is a commonly used stimulant while 50.6% agreed that it could be used and have the same effect of a psychoactive substance. About forty-four percent (43.4%) of the respondents agreed that dried paw-paw leaf could produce the same effects as cannabis, while 32.4% of the respondents agreed that dried paw-paw leaf could produce the same effects as cocaine or heroin. Forty-eight percent (48.4%) believed that dried paw-paw leaf is a commonly used drug among youths in Nigeria while 39.5% acknowledge one of their friends that had used dried paw-paw leaf. 55.8% believed that dried paw-paw leaf as a psychoactive substance is not strange in Nigeria while 53.3% agreed that dried paw-paw leaf could be dangerous to ones health. Forty-seven percent of the respondents indicated to have ever used dried paw-paw leaf while 44.8% believed that one could be physically dependent on the drug. 45.6% equally believed that one could be psychologically dependent on dried paw-paw leaf.
The findings were discussed within the social consequence point of view and a need for further investigation in that regard.
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