West Afr J Med. 2022 Feb 28;39(2):147-153.


INTRODUCTION: Recently, there has been an increase in the abuse of relatively newer substances sometimes in unusual combinations. Some of these drugs and their street names are unfamiliar to researchers and clinicians, hindering their identification. Our objective was to investigate current trends in drug abuse, focusing on eliciting drugs of use and their street names in Calabar, Nigeria.

METHODS: Using a qualitative design, we conducted focus group discussions among 15 male in-patients of the drug treatment ward of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Calabar. Data was collected as audio recordings and handwritten notes and was analyzed using the Nvivo software.

RESULTS: Prescription drugs like flunitrazepam (street name Blueboy, Sweetnol), trihexyphenidyl, codeine and tramadol were commonly abused. Illicit substances included cannabis of various potencies (each having unique street names), vulcanizing gum (street name Solution), cocaine and heroin (street name Thailand). Some unusual substances such as soakaway fumes, formaldehyde or gammalin (lindane) mixed with cannabis were described. Few supposedly nonpsychoactive substances were reportedly potent when consumed alone (e.g., leaves of the papaya plant) or in mixtures, such as menthol candy dissolved in soft drinks. Other prescription drugs such as Benadol or D4, unfamiliar to the researchers, were volunteered.

CONCLUSION: Newer substances of abuse in their various combinations are abused by Nigerian youth. More studies are needed to elucidate further the chemical composition of these drugs/mixtures and their mechanism of action.


Source: ncbi 2

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