Author(s): Onifade PO, Somoye EB, Ogunwobi OO, Ogunwale A, Akinhanmi AO,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and the 8th most populous in the world with a population of over 154 million, does not have current data on substance abuse treatment demand and treatment facilities; however, the country has the highest one-year prevalence rate of Cannabis use (14.3\%) in Africa and ranks third in Africa with respect to the one-year prevalence rate of cocaine (0.7\%) and Opioids (0.7\%) use. This study aimed to determine the types, spread and characteristics of the substance abuse treatment centers in Nigeria. METHODS: The study was a cross sectional survey of substance abuse treatment centers in Nigeria. Thirty-one units were invited and participated in filling an online questionnaire, adapted from the European Treatment Unit/Program Form (June 1997 version). RESULTS: All the units completed the online questionnaire. A large proportion (48\%) was located in the South-West geopolitical zone of the country. Most (58\%) were run by Non-Governmental Organizations. Half of them performed internal or external evaluation of treatment process or outcome. There were a total of 1043 for all categories of paid and volunteer staff, with an average of 33 staff per unit. Most of the funding came from charitable donations (30\%). No unit provided drug substitution/maintenance therapy. The units had a total residential capacity of 566 beds. New client admissions in the past one year totalled 765 (mean = 48, median = 26.5, min = 0, max = 147) and 2478 clients received services in the non-residential units in the past year. No unit provided syringe exchange services. CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed a dearth of substance abuse treatment units (and of funds for the available ones) in a country with a large population size and one of the highest prevalence rates of substance abuse in Africa. The available units were not networked and lacked a directory or an evaluation framework. To provide an environment for effective monitoring, funding and continuous quality improvement, the units need to be organized into a sustainable network.
This article was published in Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy