Knowledge of Health Effects and Substance Use among Students of Tertiary Institutions in Southwestern, Nigeria

Ajoke Olukemi Awosusi, Joseph Afolayan Adegboyega


The upsurge in the use of substances as reported by various scholars appears to be global in nature. Although, everyone is at some risk of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco related problems, students in tertiary institutions seem to be particularly vulnerable. This study focussed not only on the risk taking behaviour involved in tobacco, marijuana and alcohol consumption but also investigated the knowledge of health effects as related to the use of these substances. The study adopted the survey research design. The sample consisted of 2,297 respondents who where sampled using multipurpose sampling technique. A set of questionnaire developed and validated by the researchers was used to collect data for the study. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analysis. All the hypotheses were tested at  0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that a high percentage of respondents consumed alcohol while some of them had tried tobacco/cigarette and marijuana. Also, a significant relationship existed between knowledge of health effects (physical, Social and psychological health) and substance use. The study showed that the higher the knowledge of health effects with respect to physical, social and psychological health, the lower the substance use by the respondents. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that drug education should be integrated into the General Course Studies in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Keywords: substance use, health effects, health risk behaviour, peer influence

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