CHAPTER 10: Pattern of Psychoactive Substance Use among In-Patients Attending the Psychiatric Unit of Federal Medical Centre Makurdi, Benue State by Perpetual Ngosoo Chia, Grace Ronke Awopetu, Jonathan Iornenge Ugese & Tersoo Joshua Apaa
Psychoactive substance use is not a new phenomenon, and is currently a major public health issue globally (Babalola et al., 2013). A lot of researches have been carried out on this perspective and each report always indicate that psychoactive substance has major effects on the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, and the fastest growth in the usage of these substances is a great concern to the people of Nigeria and the international community in general. Throughout history, psychoactive substance has been used commonly and for a variety of purposes (Keenan, 2004).
There is considerable debate regarding the most appropriate definition of psychoactive substance. To put it in simple terms, “Psychoactive drugs are substances that affect the central nervous system and can have a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogenic effect on a person (Insight, 2013).
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2004) defines psychoactive substances as any substance that when taken in or administered into the system affects mental processes, e. g. cognition, perception, sensation or affect. In this way, psychoactive substance can affect an individual’s mood, their perception and thoughts; changing the consciousness, mood, and thoughts of those who take thorn.
The use of these Substances constitute a major public health challenge to individuals, families, communities, societies and overall government spending are impacted by the use of these licit and illicit substances despite the negative harmful effect.