Alcohol and substance use among first-year students at the University of Nairobi, Kenya: Prevalence and patterns
Increase in alcohol and substance use among college students is a global public health concern. It is associated with the risk of alcohol and substance use disorders to the individual concerned and public health problems to their family and society. Among students there is also the risk of poor academic performance, taking longer to complete their studies or dropping out of university. This study determined the prevalence and patterns of alcohol and substance use of students at the entry to the
... university. A total of 406 (50.7% male) students were interviewed using the Assessment of Smoking and Substance Involvement Test (ASSIST) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Tool (AUDIT). Bivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine associations between substance use and students' socio-demographic characteristics. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the predictors of the lifetime and current alcohol and substance use. Lifetime and current alcohol and substance use prevalence were 103 (25%) and 83 (20%) respectively. Currently frequently used substances were alcohol 69 (22%), cannabis 33 (8%) and tobacco 28 (7%). Poly-substance use was reported by 48 (13%) respondents, the main combinations being cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol. Students living in private hostels were four times more likely to be current substance users compared with those living on campus (OR = 4.7, 95% CI: 2.0, 10.9). A quarter of the study respondents consumed alcohol and/or substances at the entry to university pushing the case for early intervention strategies to delay initiation of alcohol and substance use and to reduce the associated harmful consequences.