Society of African Journal Editors

Malawi Medical Journal

Risk perception and correlates of alcohol use among out-of-school youth in motor parks in Lagos State, Nigeria

Authors: O Dada, O Odukoya, K Okuyemi

Journal: Malawi Medical Journal

Background and Aim:  The prevalence of alcohol use has increased globally. Out-of-school youth are a vulnerable group who might have missed opportunities for learning healthy behaviours in a formal school environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk perception, pattern of use, and correlates of alcohol use among out-of-school youth in Lagos, Nigeria. Methods:  A cross-sectional study was conducted among 380 out-of school youth in motor parks in Lagos State, Nigeria, using interviewer administered questionnaires. Results:  The lifetime prevalence of alcohol use was 61.1%, while 55.5% were current drinkers. Beer (57.3%) was the most consumed type of alcohol, followed by distilled spirits (29.8%). Using the CAGE scoring system, more than half (57.8%) of the current drinkers had a drinking problem. Almost three quarters (70.1%) had experienced at least one episode of alcohol intoxication within the past month. A considerable number of current drinkers (63.5%) desired to reduce their alcohol intake or stop drinking, while 45.5% had made unsuccessful attempts to do so within the past year. Only 28.9% had received assistance to quit or reduce their drinking and of these less than half (39.3%) received assistance from a professional or healthcare worker. Males were more likely to be current drinkers and to have experienced episodes of alcohol intoxication. Parental and peer drinking were associated with alcohol use but not with intoxication. Conclusions:  It is important to design specific programmes to reduce alcohol use among out-of-school youth in these settings.