Title: Pattern of substance abuse among attendants of Neuropsychiatric Centre of Kamengein Burundi
Authors: Bigirindavyi Dismas, Amira Gamal Seifeldin, Hany Hassan Ziady
Background: Substance abuse constitutes a major public health problem which is associated with a wide range of social and health impacts on the addicts, their families, and the society as a whole.
Objective(s): This study aimed to explore the pattern and social determinants of substance abuse among attendants of Kamenge Neuropsychiatric Centre in Burundi.
Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on substance abusers who attended Neuropsychiatric Centre of Kamenge from September to November 2017and provided their oral informed consent to participate in the study. The interview questionnaire was divided into two sections. The first section identified the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents whereas the second section explored the pattern of substance abuse as self-reported by attendees. The obtained data were analyzed by descriptive and analytic statistics using the SPSS version 20.0 software. The significance of the results was set at the 0.05 level of significance.
Results: The studied substance abusers were 98, their mean age was 27.8 years (standard deviation, SD = ± 8.7), ranging from 16 to 57 years. Most of them were males (92.9%), single never married (75.5%), came from nuclear families (84.7%), and lived in cities (71.4%). The largest proportion of them were unemployed (46.9%) while half of them had secondary education level (50.0%). Family history of substance misuse was reported by more than three-fifths of the respondents (64.3%). Among the studied subjects, the most frequent substance of initiation was alcohol (43.9%), followed by tobacco (29.6%) and cannabis (26.5%). The mean age of onset of substance use initiation was 14.2 years (SD = ± 3.5), ranging from seven to 26 years. The most common contributing factors for substance use initiation was by curiosity (37.8%). Poly-substance abuse was common among the studied subjects (94.9%). This pattern of recurrent substance abuse was significantly associated with being male, being single, living in cities, and having high education level. The most frequent combination of substances was made by alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis (32.7%). Subsequently, the most frequent routes of taking substances in combination was smoking (or inhalation) and oral ingestion (43.9%).
Conclusion: Substance abuse is essentially a health problem of single and unemployed young people who started using substances at an earlier age. National data on current pattern of substance abuse are needed to be included in effective preventive programs required to encourage adopting positive attitudes among school going teenagers toward self-confidence and adequacy, as to prevent risk behavior taking among them.
Keywords: Psycho-active substances, substance abuse, drug misuse, Burundi.