Original Research

Psychoactive substance use among outpatients with severe mental illness: A comparative study

Oladipo A. Sowunmi, Gbolagade Amoo, Peter O. Onifade, Adegboyega Ogunwale, Emmanuel Babalola
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 25 | a1111 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v25i0.1111 | © 2019 Oladipo A. Sowunmi, Gbolagade Amoo, Peter O. Onifade, Adegboyega Ogunwale, Emmanuel Babalola | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 2017 | Published: 30 September 2019

About the author(s)

Oladipo A. Sowunmi, Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro Abeokuta Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Gbolagade Amoo, Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro Abeokuta Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Peter O. Onifade, Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro Abeokuta Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Adegboyega Ogunwale, Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro Abeokuta Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Emmanuel Babalola, Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro Abeokuta Ogun State, Abeokuta, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Despite several studies on the prevalence and pattern of substance use in Nigeria, there is little information on substance use in patients diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder (BD).

Aim: The aim of the study was to compare the pattern of psychoactive substance use among outpatients with BD and schizophrenia.

Setting: The study was conducted in a neuropsychiatric hospital in Nigeria.

Methods: Seventy five consecutive patients with a MINI-PLUS diagnosis of BD were compared with an equal number of patients obtained by systematic random sampling with a MINI-PLUS diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Results: The respondents with schizophrenia were aged 18–59 years (37.2 ± 9.99) and were predominantly young adult (49, 65.3%), men (46, 61.3%), who were never married (38, 50.7%). Overall, lifetime drug use prevalence was 52%, while for current use, overall prevalence was 21.3%. Participants with BD were aged 18–63 years (36.7 ± 10.29) and were predominantly young adult (53, 70.7%), women (44, 58.7%), who were married (32, 42.7%), with tertiary education (31, 41.3%). Overall, lifetime drug use prevalence was 46.7%, while current overall prevalence was 17.3%. These rates (lifetime and current) for both diagnostic groups are higher than what was reported by the World Health Organization in the global status report of 2014 (0% – 16%). The statistically significant difference between the two diagnostic groups was related to their sociodemographic and clinical variables and psychoactive substance use.

Conclusion: Psychoactive substance use remains a burden in the care of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and BD. Future policies should incorporate routine screening for substance use at the outpatient department with a view to stemming the tide of this menace.


Keywords

psychoactive substance use; drug use; schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; severe mental disorder

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