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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 230-236

Use of psychoactive substances among patients presenting at the emergency department of a tertiary hospital


1 Department of Psychiatry, College of Health Sciences, Bingham University, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychiatry, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Datak Delashik Dapap
Department of Psychiatry, College of Health Sciences, Bingham University, Jos, Plateau State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_5_20

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Background: Psychoactive substance use is frequently encountered in hospitals' emergency departments (EDs). It accounts for major health-care problems frequently leading to accident and ED admissions, yet it is frequently unidentified. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and pattern of psychoactive substance use among patients presenting in the Accident and EDs and to compare the case detection rate of psychoactive substance use between self-report questionnaire and biochemical markers (e.g., urine toxicology). Methods: To achieve this, 200 consenting participants attending the accident and emergency unit of a tertiary hospital were consecutively enlisted into the study within 2 weeks. They were screened for psychoactive substance use with the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) and the urine drug test (UDT). Results: The lifetime prevalence of psychoactive substance use was 45.5%, while the past 3 months (recent use) prevalence was 27.0%. The pattern of psychoactive substance use revealed that alcohol was the predominant psychoactive substance use with a lifetime prevalence of 13.0% and recent use of 12.0%. The UDT significantly detected more patients who used psychoactive substance compared to self-report (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The prevalence of drug use recorded among attendees of the accident and emergency unit was high in this study. The UDT significantly detected more patients who used psychoactive substances compared to self-report (P < 0.001). Several patients with major health problems as a result of psychoactive substance use were identified with the aid of these screening tools.


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