Society of African Journal Editors

African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

Substance use and sexual risk behaviours amongst in-school youth and young adults living in Liberia

Authors: N Quiterio, BL Harris, CPC Borba, DC Henderson

Journal: African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

Little is known about the prevalence of and association of substance use and sexual risk behaviors among youth in Liberia. The present study was undertaken to examine the substance use behaviors and sexual practices of students in 16 secondary schools in greater and central Monrovia, Liberia. The sample consisted of 802 students in grades 7th to 12th who were enrolled in a co-educational school. Among substances reported, alcohol was the most commonly tried substance with almost 50% using it at some point in their life. 78% of respondents had engaged in sex with 13% reported having sex for monetary gain. Of those, more than 25% never or occasionally used a condom. Results indicated an association between alcohol and engaging in sex and an increase in the number of sexual partners. Future research should target both in-school and out-of-school students to develop school education and health services unique to this population. Keywords : post-conflict Liberia, substance use, sexual risk behaviors, in-school students