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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 259-263

Pattern and reasons for substance use among long-distance commercial drivers in a Nigerian city

Lecturer/Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, Bingham University/Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Christopher Izehinosen Okpataku
Senior Registrar, Department of Psychiatry, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.169649

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Objective: To determine the pattern and reasons for psychoactive substance use by long-distance commercial vehicle drivers in a Nigerian city. Materials and Methods: All licensed long-distance commercial vehicle drivers who travel a distance of at least 500 km from the city metropolis were recruited. Each fourth consecutive driver who was to load his vehicle for the day was interviewed at the 10 long-distance motor parks. They responded to a sociodemographic and semi-structured pro forma requesting the type of drug used and the reason and pattern of use. The data obtained were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 16. Results: All the respondents were males with a mean age of 43.4 years. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean age of substance users and nonusers (t = 0.491, P = 0.853). The reasons given for drug use were to keep awake while driving, for pleasure, as part of the culture, peer influence, as a substitute for food and for no obvious reason. The pattern of use tended to be related to the reason given for the use. Conclusion: The reason for drug use in long-distance drivers could be used to modify the pattern of use to minimize the risk associated with drugged driving.

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