Substance Use among Pregnant Women in Nigeria



This study sought to determine the prevalence, patterns and feasibility of screening for psychoactive substance use among pregnant women in an antenatal clinic in Nigeria. It also aimed to determine the relationship between psychoactive substance use risk severity and psychiatric morbidity.


A cross-sectional study was undertaken among 395 pregnant women previously booked for ante-natal care. A sociodemographic questionnaire, the Alcohol Smoking and Substance Involvement Test (ASSIST) and the 20-item self-reporting questionnaire-20 were interviewer administered. The t-test and ANOVA were used to analyse the relationship between substance use risk severity of probable psychiatric symptoms and lifetime use of psychoactive substance/risk severity, respectively.


Participants reported lifetime (50.4%) and preceding 3 months (17%) use of alcohol. Nicotine and sedatives use was rare (n = 2; 0.5%). About a tenth (11.6%) screened positive for psychiatric morbidity. Those reporting alcohol use were significantly more likely to report a greater severity of probable psychiatric symptoms (1.79 vs. 0.92; t = 3.43, P < 0.002). Significant differences were observed according to severity of risk (moderate risk [2.08] vs. low risk [1.72] vs. never used [0.92], F = 6.043, P = 0.03).


ASSIST is feasible screening tool among pregnant women. At least, half of the participants report alcohol use in pregnancy and use was significantly associated with psychiatric morbidity

Adebowale, Oluyemisi O., and Bawo O. James. "Psychoactive substance use and psychiatric morbidity among pregnant women attending an ante-natal clinic in Benin City, Nigeria." Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal 25.1 (2018): 8.
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