Chapter 17: Socio-demographic characteristics and personality profiles of patients with substance use disorders by Mfon E. Ineme, Helen O. Osinowo, Rachel B. Asagba, Kayode O. Taiwo, Imisioluwa O. Ibikunle, Iboro F. A. Ottu, Onyeye A. Aguiyi, Michael O. Akinlabi & Akin O. Akinhanmi
Substance abuse remains one of the leading anti—social behaviours the world over. In many societies it is viewed as a leading cause of violence among individuals and groups. To the respective individuals, it has been a major cause of physiological illnesses such as liver, cardiovascular and cranial problems (Kazimir, 2010). It has exposed many to the risk of auto accidents (Bob, 2011), leading to physical deformity, loss of property, and even loss of lives. In addition, substance abuse is known to have a causal relationship with many psychological disorders including mental and behavioural disorders (Larson, 2011). Indeed, the dangers of taking drugs are far greater than its short – term illusory pleasures (Agrawal, Puliyel, Chansoria, Mukerejee & Kaul, 2007). Being more specific, Obedunmi (2008), explains that the harmful effect of smoking outweighs the presumed warmth and comfort. Use of these drugs may lead to criminal penalty in addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harms (Wikipedia, 2010). Yet drinking is woven into the fabric of many societies as often experienced when sharing a bottle of wine over a meal, going out for drinks with friends, celebrating
special occasions with champagne etc. But because alcohol is such a common, popular element in many activities, it can be hard to see when one’s drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to problem drinking (Smith, Segal & Robinson 2010).
These and many other problems associated with substance or drug misuse or abuse notwithstanding, the behaviour is still persisting, and indeed, increasing and taking different forms and dimensions. This persistence has therefore attracted the attention of the scientific/academic community globally, provoking many research and findings in the area. The research has covered such areas as definitions, types, causes, effects, prevention, and management/treatment of drug victims.
Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that alter mood, behavior, perception, or mental functioning. They are substances that can be abused and have been classified according to their behavioural and psychological effects. The classes include alcohol, sedative-hypnotics, narcotic analgesics, stimulant-euphoriant, hallucinogens, and psychotropic drugs (Hewitt & Enoch, 2009).