Title page

Approval page




Table of content



1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4        Research Hypotheses

1.5        Significance of the study

1.6        Scope and limitation of the study

1.7       Definition of terms

1.8       Organization of the study




3.0        Research methodology

3.1        sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis



4.1    Introductions

4.2    Data analysis


5.1    Introduction

5.2    Summary

5.3    Conclusion

5.4    Recommendation












The study investigated psychoactive substance consumption and awareness of health effects among students in tertiary institutions in Ekiti State. The unprecedented increase in the use of substances as reported by various scholars appears to be global in nature. Although, everyone is at some risk of alcohol, tramadol, marijuana, and tobacco related problems, students in tertiary institutions seem to be particularly vulnerable. This study focused not only on the risk taking behavior involved in tobacco, marijuana tramadol and alcohol consumption but also investigated the knowledge of health and academic effects as related to the use of these psychoactive substances. The study adopted the survey research design. The sample consisted of 300 respondents who were sampled using simple random sampling technique. A set of questionnaire developed and validated by the researchers was used to collect data for the study. The study revealed that alcohol, tramadol, caffeine and tobacco were the major psychoactive substances consumed by the respondents. Predisposing factors such as overcoming nervousness, relaxation, performance enhancement, sleeplessness and parental influence were the major reasons for psychoactive substances consumption among the respondents.

                                        CHAPTER ONE


1.1 Background of the study

The use of psychoactive substances through various methods such as ingestion, sniffing, smoking or injection seems to have been part of human experience from time immemorial. This denotes that usage of psychoactive substances to achieve relaxation and pleasurable state of mind as well as to alter both the physiological and the psychological functioning of the body system by man dates back to the Stone Age (Akpomuvie, 2007).Psychoactive substances can be described as natural or synthetic chemical substances which when consumed would alter the way users feel, think or behave. The psychoactive substances, otherwise known as psychotropic drugs act primarily upon the dopaminergic cells of the central nervous system thereby altering the functions of the brain and resulting in temporary changes in moods, behaviour, attitude and perception (Donatelle, 2002). The decision to use a drug by many young people is based on a rational appraisal process, rather than a passive reaction to the context in which a substance is available (Boys, Mardson and Strang, 2001).The aetiology of psychoactive substances use can be described as being multifactorial of which genetic, psychological and social are determining factors (Sandro, Arijit and David, 2004).Various factors such as biological make-up, family background, school environment or neighbourhood and the events at the developmental stage of the individual may combine to influence substances consumption. The reasons students consume psychoactive substances vary from quite generalized to broad statements (Boys et. al, 2001). Thus, the use of psychoactive substances for medicinal purpose may influence subsequent use. In current professional practice, psychotropic drugs have been developed to treat patients with severe mental illness (Berger, 2009). Studies have shown that those with depression, social anxiety and stress related disorder are more prone to psychoactive substances use as they start by self-medicating in an attempt to reduce the abnormal feelings (Lewis, 2010). Also, some psychoactive substances can be used in reducing appetite thereby resulting to weight loss by those who are controlling their weight. Substance like amphetamine is prescribed by physicians to reduce fatigue and appetite and also to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (Wikipedia, 2010). The desire to alter mood and improve health may influence the use of psychoactive substances (Rocha-Silva, Miranda and Erasmus, 1996). In addition, studies have shown that many have used psychoactive substances to relieve physical or mental pain (Egbochuku, Aluede & Oizimende, 2009). Factors within and outside student environment may predispose a student to psychoactive substance use. The school environment has been observed to have unique characteristics such as the desire to delay sleep and remain alert at night especially during examination period. This may be the primary reason behind the observed stimulant use on campus by undergraduates during examinations or before tests. Students believed that stress associated with competitiveness, long hours of work and pending examination were important factors in psychoactive substance use (Mesquita, Laranjeira and Dunn, 1997). The habit of using stimulants, alcohol or tobacco to either feel better, look better, act more, have more energy and stay awake is on the increase among students (Hales, 2007; Bello and Owoaje, 2010). The types of psychoactive substances that students use may depend on what is available in their neighbourhood and the types they could afford. The fact that some psychoactive substances like alcohol and tobacco are accepted by the society may influence the students to try such substances. The availability of these products without any restriction may predispose students to have access to the products. Substances ranging from alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hashish and many others are readily available to youths in Nigeria (Yusuf, 2010). Alcohol was the most common substances on college campuses (Igwe, et. al, 2009). For instance, the arrests and prosecution of 35 people by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for growing Indian hemp in Ekiti state, Nigeria (Akeredolu, 2011) is an indication that these substances are readily available to local users. In addition, the availability of psychoactive substances in the immediate environment of students may predispose them to experimentation. Psychoactive substances have been in existence from time immemorial. Throughout history, people have swallowed, sniffed, smoked and injected into their bodies a variety of chemical substances for the purpose of altering their moods, level of consciousness or behaviour (Sue, Sue & Sue, 2006). Psychoactive substances can be described as natural or synthetic or chemicals which when taken would alter the way users feel, think or behave. Psychoactive substances act primarily upon the central nervous system, thereby altering the functions of the brain, resulting in temporary changes in mood, behaviour, attitude and perception. WHO (2004) defined psychoactive substances as chemical substances that, when taken, have the ability to change an individual’s consciousness, mood or thinking processes. The upsurge in the use of psychoactive substances seems to be a global problem. The prevalence also seems high in developing countries as events happening in Nigeria indicate that the use of psychoactive substances is on the increase. For instance, cases of violent demonstrations, thuggery, arson, incessant armed robbery, high level of prostitution, religious crisis, and cultism among the restless youths in Nigeria could be linked to the unabated use of psychoactive substances. Similarly, the rate at which youths have access to psychoactive substances for social reasons rather than prescription for medical purpose is high. Some adolescents use drugs simply because they can get them. Knots (2000) reported that youths have used substances ranging from tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, valium and inhalants to other hard drugs which often they obtained from friends, patent medicine stores, open markets and mobile drug sellers with little or no difficulty. An epidemiological survey conducted on secondary school students by the Federal Ministry of Education (1995) found out that 11% of the students have smoked cigarette while 5% have used cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine and heroin. A recent observation by Yusuf (2010) clearly shows that substances ranging from alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hashish and many others are readily available to the youths in Nigeria and this has made the youths to be perpetrators of social vices. It is not out of place to observe that substances such as kola nuts, alcohol, raw tobacco and cigarette are used for social purposes and enjoy wide acceptability in social events such as in naming ceremony, rituals, burials and marriage engagements. These substances have some active ingredients in them that when taken in excess can alter the way the user feels, thinks and behaves and could also lead to addiction. The Nigerian society does not consider some of the psychoactive substances as abuse and long as they are used in moderation and only by adults. However, there seems to be little or no restriction on the substances, hence the availability of the products within the reach of the youths. The use of psychoactive substances is not limited to the youths on the streets alone but have found wide patronage among the students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Thus, the use of psychoactive substances is one of the leading social problem confronting students in higher institutions. Hales (2007) observed that drug use on campus is on the increase with almost half of the undergraduates attesting to the fact that they have used marijuana. Students in tertiary institutions may cultivate the habit of using psychoactive substance to enable them face the various challenges within school environment. For instance, Mesquita, Laranjeira and Dunn (1997) discovered that students believed that stress associated with competitiveness, long hours of work and pending examination was an important factor in psychoactive substance use. Other students may use psychoactive substances because of the measurable experience they derive from the usage. In addition, some students may possibly indulge in the habit of consuming psychoactive substances for the purpose of finding escape route from reality of day-to-day problems. Shrier, Harris, Kurland and Knight (2003) opined that individuals turn to psychoactive substances in seeking escape from pain, boredom, fatigue, anxiety, poverty and frustration including behavioural or emotional problems. The painful aspect is that the pleasure derived from the use of psychoactive substances is fleeting and very quickly the effects will wear-off, which will necessitate taking another dose to maintain the pleasure. Allowing this cycle to continue without suppressing the urge may overtime result into substance addition.


It is not unlikely that the various anti-social behaviours and crimes associated with students in tertiary institutions such as cultism and violent demonstrations are influenced by psychoactive substance consumption. Also, the recurrent incident of burglary; armed robbery, thefts and vandalism of all sorts, that are common in students residential areas could be linked to the use of psychoactive substances. Suffice to state that some psychoactive substances may be used ignorantly without knowing that it contains intoxicating chemicals. One may assume that the increase in the use of psychoactive substances by students is due to lack of knowledge of the negative health effects. Majority of the youths that consume psychoactive substances tend to do so just for the fun of it and possibly to please their peers. It is against this backdrop that the researcher intends to investigate the effect of psychoactive substance consumption among undergraduate student of Ekiti state university.


The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of psychoactive substance consumption among undergraduate student of Ekiti state university, but to aid the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objectives:

  1. i) To examine the health effect of psychoactive substance consumption among undergraduate student
  2. ii) To examine if there is any significant relationship between tramadol use among students and academic performance

iii) To examine the impact of psychoactive substance consumption on the behavior of undergraduate students

  1. iv) To ascertain the effect of psychoactive substance on academic performance of student in Ekiti state university


The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;

H0: psychoactive substance consumption does not have any significant health effect on undergraduate student

H1: psychoactive substance consumption does have a significant health effect on undergraduate student

H0: there is no significant relationship between tramadol use among students and academic performance.

H0: there is a significant relationship between tramadol use among students and academic performance.


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the guardian and counseling unit as the study seek to explore the causes of psychoactive substance consumption among undergraduate students, the study will also be of importance to researcher who intend to embark on a similar study as the findings will serve as a reference point to further studies. The study will be of importance to students, teachers, academia’s, lecturers and the general public as the study will contribute to the pool of existing literature and also add to knowledge.


The scope of the study covers psychoactive substance consumption among undergraduate student of Ekiti state university. But in the cause of the study, there are some factors that limited the scope of the study which were beyond the researchers control;


  1. Data collection: Well established data are not easily available.
  2. Sizeable quantity of information obtained from papers were in organization and sometimes complex.
  3. Reluctance of the respondent to fill the questionnaires.


Psychoactive substance

Psychoactive substances are substances that, when taken in or administered into one’s system, affect mental processes, e.g. cognition or affect. This term and its equivalent, psychotropic drug, are the most neutral and descriptive term for the whole class of substances, licit and illicit, of interest to drug policy.


A drug is any substance that, when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin, or dissolved under the tongue causes a physiological change in the body


Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. When taken by mouth in an immediate-release formulation, the onset of pain relief usually begins within an hour. It is also available by injection


An alcoholic drink is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. Drinking alcohol plays an important social role in many cultures.


Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids


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