Drug use is a major public health problem worldwide. The upsurge in the use of drugs seems to be global problem (Children Defense Fund, I991). Alcohol and other drug use and abuse are still a major public health issue in the Nigeria- Globally, some 39 deaths per 100,000 persons are attributed to alcohol and illicit drug use. Ofthcse, 35 are attributed to alcohol and 4 to illicit drug use (WHO, 2011, cited in UNODC, 2011). Empirical evidence across countries reveals that drug use is at the peak between the ages of 18 and 25 years, with university students being at risk (Karam et al., 2007).
According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 42% of persons aged 18 to 25 reported that they have had five or more drinks at the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30days, while 40% of 18 year olds reported that they have used marijuana (NIISDA, 2005). Travares et al. (2001) reported the rate of drug use among students as follows: alcohol (86.8%), tobacco (41.0%), marijuana (13.9%), inhalants (11.6%), anxiolytie drugs (8.0%). amphetamines (4.3%), and cocaine (3.2%). According to Oliha(2014), majority of the youth ignorantly use one form of drug or the other for their various daily activities such as social, educational. political, and moral, etc. Drug use at 18 years is associated with an eightfold greater likelihood of developing substance dependence in adulthood (Tirns et aI.. 2002).
The harmful use of drug has led to a number of physical and psychosocial problems in an individual’s life. The repeated use of drugs can lead to a ‘dependence’ syndrome, commonly referred to as addiction – The symptoms include strong desire to take the drugs (cravings, difficulties in controlling its use, loss of control) and continued use despite harmful consequences (UNODC. 2011). Other symptoms include higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance; a withdrawal state (physical andfor psychological) (UNODC, 2011).
This study is interested in drug use among female undergraduates. Prior to 1985, rates of drug use among females were significantly lower than their male counterparts, however, rates of alcohol tobacco, marijuana and inhalant use by females began to approach those of their male counterpart in the 1980’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA, 1997). Currently, use rates for certain drugs are greater for females than males (Johnston et al., 2007).