ASSESSMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE AMONG MILITARY PERSONNEL IN KADUNA STATE
Indiscipline and rampant clashes between forces personnel with frequent „accidental discharge‟ observed among military personnel are often associated with drugs. Drugs are known to have the potency of effecting changes in the perception, feelings and behavior of living organisms. Of more paramount is the use of social drugs referred to as recreational drugs which has become a problem among military personnel in Nigeria of which formations in Kaduna State are part. This study therefore, sought to make an assessment of substance use among military personnel in Kaduna State. The assessment was carried out with the aid of a structured questionnaire, designed by the researcher. The constructed questionnaire was administered to some selected military personnel in five formations within the state through a proportionate random sampling procedure. In all, 644 personnel were involved in the study. Data collected were analyzed using frequencies and percentages, means and standard deviations. The hypotheses were tested with one sample t-test. From the analysis of the data it was found that there are psychoactive substances that are commonly used by military personnel in Kaduna State. Such substances included among others Alcohol and marijuana. That the sources for the psychoactive substances used by military personnel are substantially established to include friends, pharmaceutical outlets, drug patent stores and drug hawkers. And that military personnel take psychoactive substances for some assumed reasons that included the general perception among military personnel that substance use generally enhances performances, that drugs help personnel recover from a hard workout more quickly, help personnel to avoid depression and any form of prolong anxiety and help to eliminate tiredness. It was found that the personnel were aware of the adverse effects which included: cardiovascular diseases, physical pains, restlessness, impaired vision and mental disability among others. Based on the findings it was recommended that periodic orientation on the adverse effects of psychoactive substances use be embarked upon to sensitized personnel on the wrong notion held about advantages of such usages and that effort should be made at discouraging drug hawkers from all military formations in the state as well as enforcement of regular physical activities and recreation to reduce anxiety and prevent psychologically induced stress.