oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Drug abuse and its clinical implications with special reference to Nigeria

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A review of the literature shows that drug abuse has become a major public health problem in Nigeria. Alcohol, cannabis, psychostimulants and hypnosedatives are the most commonly abused drugs, although the abuse of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin appears to be on the increase in the big cities. Drug abuse in the country now starts at an early age and cuts across all social groups. The need to incorporate drug and alcohol treatment and prevention programmes into the primary health care programmes (as part of the mental health component), was emphasised as a necessary strategy to ensure early detection and management, and a better coverage of the population of patients in need of care. It was also suggested that there is an urgent need to encourage extensive epidemiological and longitudinal studies of drug and alcohol abuse in Nigeria in order to accurately determine the populations at risk, the changing patterns of abuse over time (including cross-cultural comparison), and to allow for adequate social monitoring, planning and evaluation of services.

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