World Journal of Preventive Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2379-8823 ISSN (Online): 2379-8866 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
World Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016, 4(1), 12-19
DOI: 10.12691/jpm-4-1-3
Open AccessArticle

Occurrence, Pattern and Effects of Nonconventional Use of Substances among Youth in North-Central, Nigeria

Danjuma Aliyu1, , Ibrahim Taiwo Adeleke2, Emmanuel Ejembi Anyebe3, Sunday Oluwafemi Omoniyi4 and Lateefah Yusuf Ibrahim1

1Department of Nursing Services, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

2Department of Health Information, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Nigeria

3Research and Training Unit, School of Nursing, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria

4Department of Nursing Services, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Nigeria

Pub. Date: April 07, 2016

Cite this paper:
Danjuma Aliyu, Ibrahim Taiwo Adeleke, Emmanuel Ejembi Anyebe, Sunday Oluwafemi Omoniyi and Lateefah Yusuf Ibrahim. Occurrence, Pattern and Effects of Nonconventional Use of Substances among Youth in North-Central, Nigeria. World Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016; 4(1):12-19. doi: 10.12691/jpm-4-1-3


Background: use of substances among Nigerian youth for nonconventional purpose and cocktails of illicit substances have become a source of concern at various levels of the society. These substances include whitish end of lizard dung, hydrogen sulphide gas (sewer gas), seed of Zakami, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), rubber solutions, nail polish cleaners, pawpaw leave and seed, Moringa (Zogale) leave, tear gas, gun powder, Mandara (Kafra) gutter from toilet. The use or abuse of such substances has devastating consequences on the individual health, family and society. Objective: To evaluate occurrence, pattern and effects of nonconventional substance use among youth in North-central, Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional research design was used to recruit eligible participants for this study with purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Data were collected with the help of research assistants (locators) using a structured questionnaire. Statistical software SPSS V20.0 (2010) was used to analyze both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: The results of the study reveal that most of the nonconventional substance users were young unmarried male students of tertiary institutions with a mean age of 23 ± 4 years. Most of them were living with both parents and from monogamy family background. Additionally, a good number of the participants were into daily usage of these substances, were into either smoking or drinking of alcohol before they went into the use of these other substances. They have been into nonconventional substance use for past five years or more. The use of whitish end of Lizard dung, Moringa (Zogale) leave, Seed of Zakami, pawpaw leave, rubber solutions, premium motor spirit (PMS) and hydrogen sulfide gas (Gas from pit toilet) are the most used substances. Reasons for nonconventional substance abuse include peer pressure/influence, societal influence, poor parental monitoring and for relaxation or coping with stress. The effects include accidents, loss and damage to property, had unprotected sex, hospitalization and sudden difficulty in breathing. Participants’ age and level of education correlate significantly with occurrence of nonconventional substance use/abuse. Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that youths aged between 18 and 30 years were into nonconventional substance use/abuse. This result reinforces the importance of calling for more strategies to curtail the new trends in the use of nonconventional substances among youth and improvement on the available legislation on drugs and substances laws

Nonconventional use of substances substance abuse Zakami Gutter from toilet Lizard dung

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Keenan M. The social context of drug use in M. Hamilton, T. King & A. Ritter (Eds.), Drug use in Australia: Preventing harm (2nd Ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2004; pp64-67.
[2]  Rickwood D, Crowley M, Dyer K, Magor-Blatch L, Melrose J, Mentha H. et al. Perspectives in psychology: substance use; The Australian Psychological Society Ltd. 2005; pp 1.
[3]  E. Lang. Drugs in society: A social history. in M. Hamilton, T. King & A.Ritter (Eds.), Drug use in Australia: Preventing harm (2nd Ed.) Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2004:1-16.
[4]  Deressa W, Azazh A. Substance use and its predictors among undergraduate medical students of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:660.
[5]  Lambo J. A. Medical and social aspects of drug addiction in West Africa with special emphasis on psychiatric aspects. Bulletin on Narcotics. 1960;17:1-3.
[6]  Moronkola O.A. Essays on issues in health, Ibadan, Royal People (Nigeria) Limited 2003.
[7]  Baumrind D, Moselle K.A. A developmental perspective on adolescent drug abuse advances in Alcohol & substance abuse. 1985;4(3-4):41-67.
[8]  Rehms J., Room R., Monteiro M. et al. Alcohol as a risk factor for global burden of disease. Eur Addict Res. 2003;9(4):157-164.
[9]  World Drug Report. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).Executive Summary, United Nations Publication. 2005
[10]  W.H.O. United Nations Office for Control of Crime and Prevention. Bath Press, Great Britain. 2004.
[11]  Ifabumuyi O. Alcohol and drug addiction in Northern Nigeria, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinava.1986;73;479-480.
[12]  Pela O. A. Patterns of adolescent psychoactive substance abuse in Benin city, Nigeria, Adolescence. 1989;14(95):569-574.
[13]  Asuni T, Pela O. A. Drug abuse in Africa, Bulletin as Narcotics (United Nations Publication. 1986;(38):55-64.
[14]  Festus A, John U. A, Alphonsus I. U, Sunday U. B, Henry J. E. A Comparative Study of Pattern of Substance Use in Two Nigerian Cities Located in the Southern and Northern Nigeria. 2014;8(2):Pp 52-67.
[15]  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: First results. Canberra: AIHW. 2005.
[16]  Francis J. Nigerians now inhale gas from pit toilets to feel high webmaster in crime. News Watch Times; June 24, 2013. Available
[17]  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Drug Abuse and drug dependence treatment situation, in Nigeria, 2007. According to UNODC data for the year 2007. Available at
[18]  Courtois R, El-Hage W, Moussiessi T, Muliet E. Prevalence of Alcohol and psychoactive substance consumption in samples French and Congolese High School students. Tropical Doctor. 2004;34:15-17.
[19]  Anthony C. J, Warner L, Kessler R. Comparative epidemiological dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the national comorbidity survey. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2004;2:244-268.
[20]  Gureje O, Degenhardt L, Olley B, Uwakwe R, Udofia O, Wakil A, Adeyemi A, Bohnert K, Anthony C. J. A descriptive epidemiology of substance use and substance use disorders in Nigeria during the early 21st century. Drug & Alcohol Dependence. 2007;91(1):1-9.
[21]  Roerecke M, Obot S. I, Patra J, Rehm J. 2008 Volume of alcohol consumption, patterns of drinking burden of disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. African J Drug and Alcohol Studies, 2002;7(1):1-16.
[22]  Adelakan M. L, Ndon R. J. Trend in prevalence and pattern of substance use among secondary school pupils in Ilorin, Nigeria. West Afr. J. Medicine. 1997;16(3):157-164.
[23]  Adelakan L. M, Makanjuola B. A, Ndon E. J. R, Fayeye O. J, Adegoke A. A, Amusan O. 5-yearly monitoring trends of substance use among secondary school students in Ilorin, Nigeria. 1988-198. West Afr. J. Medicine. 2002;20(1):28-35.
[24]  Makanjuola B. A, Daramola O. T, Obembe O. A, Psychoactive substance use among medical students in Nigerian University. World Psychiatry. 2007;6(2):48-50.
[25]  Heerden V. S. M, Grimsrud T. A, Seedat A. T, Meyer S, Williams L, et al. Patterns of substance in South Africa: Results from South African stress and health Study. S Afr Med J. 2009;99:(5 pt2):358-366.
[26]  Fatoye O.F, Morakinyo O. Substance use among secondary school students in rural and urban communities in South Western Nigeria. East Afr Med J. 2002;79(6):299-307.
[27]  Johnston L. D, O'Malley P. M, Bachman J. G, Schulenberg J. E. Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2006: Vol II, College students and adults ages 19-45 (NIH Publication No 07-6206). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse; 2007.
[28]  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National findings (Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-32, DHHS Publication No SMA 07–4293). Rockville, MD: Author; 2007.
[29]  Jessor R. Predicting time of onset of marijuana use: A developmental study of high school youth. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.1976;44:125-134.
[30]  Newcomb M. D, Bentler P.M. Substance use and abuse among children and teenagers. American Psychologist. 1989;44:242-248.
[31]  Urberg A. K, Degirmencioglu M. S, Pilgram C. Close friends and group influence on adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use. Developmental Psychology. 1997:33(5);834-844.
[32]  McCord J. Problem behaviors. In S. S. Feldman & G. R. Elliot (Eds.), At the threshold: The developing adolescent. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1990; pp 414-429.
[33]  Kamon J, Budney A, Stanger C. A contingency management intervention for adolescent marijuana abuse and conduct problems. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2005;44(6):513-521.
[34]  Tesfahun A, Gebeyaw T, Girmay T. Assessment of substance abuse and associated factors among Students of Debre Markos Poly Technique College in Debre Markos Town, East Gojjam Zone, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. Global Journal of Medical research Pharma, Drug Discovery, Toxicology and Medicine. 2013;13(4):pp 4-15.
[35]  Odek-ogunde M. Prevalence of substance use among students in a Kenyan university: a preliminary report. East Afrmed j, 1999; 76:301-306.
[36]  Ahmed M. Y. Assessment of Substance use and associated factors among high school and preparatory school students of Ginnir Town Bale Zone, Southeast Ethiopia. American Journal of Health Research. Vol. 2, No. 6, 2014, pp. 414-419.
[37]  Zimring E.F. American youth violence . Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 1998.
[38]  Belew K, Kebede D, Kassaye M. Khat use and its associated health and socio-economic effects in a general population. Ethiopian Medical Journal. 2000;38:11-26.
[39]  Alem A, Shibre T. Khat induced psychosis and its medico-legal implication: a case report. Ethiopian Medical Journal. 1997;35:137-141.
[40]  Hamisu M, Ahmad O. T, Lim L. H. Adolescents and drugs abuse in Nigeria Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare. 2014;4(1):5-9.
[41]  National Population Commission (NPC) 2006 and projected by the authors based on 3.5% growth rate. Nigeria. 2009.
[42]  Wikipedia, Access on 10/09/2015.
[43]  Heckathorn D. D. "Respondent-driven sampling: A New approach to the study of hidden populations". Social Problems. 1997; 44:174-199.
[44]  Obikeze S. D. Introductory statistics for social science. Fourth dimension ltd. Enugu. 1986;P. 153
[45]  Hagai K. Global surveys or multi-national surveys? On sampling for global surveys. Thoughts for the globalization and social science data workshop; UCSB, November 9, 2006.
[46]  Termeh S. Design-Based estimators for snowball sampling, department of statistics, Stockholm University SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden 2013; 1-9. Available at:
[47]  Joke Kujenya, Leke Salaudeen and Olukayode Thomas. Drug: Nigeria moves from transit to consumer nation. August 10, 2011 at 2:12am. Available at: Marijuana And Narcotic News
[48]  NDLEA (1999: 76), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (1999). Drug Data Collection Report, Lagos. pp 76.
[49]  Iheme W. C. (2004). Socio-Economic and Political Consequences of Narcotics; Drug Salvation Force 1st Quarter 2004.
[50]  Danjuma A, Taiwo AI, Omoniyi SO, Balarabe SA, Kolo S, et al. (2015) Nonconventional Use of Substances among Youth in Nigeria: Viewpoints of Students in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution. J Nurs Care 4: 311.
[51]  NDLEA (2004), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (2004) Report of Rapid Situation Assessment of Drug Abuse in Nigeria. Lagos.
[52]  Jide Ojo. Checkmating Drug Trafficking and Abuse in Nigeria Monday, August 29, 2011.
[53]  Dankani I. M. Abuse of cough syrups: A new trend in drug abuse in northwestern Nigerian States of Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi (2002) International Journal of Physical and Social Sciences.2:199-213.