Suicidal tendencies among undergraduate students using alcohol and drugs in Makerere University
Wesonga, Sheila Mercy
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Introduction: Substance abuse has globally been estimated at 2 billion alcohol users, 1.3 billion smokers and 185 million drug users by the World Health Organization. The trend of abuse is greatly increasing in the African continent and the users have been reported to shift from mild drugs like cannabis to hard drugs like cocaine. This trend has also streamed into Uganda with a total of 85,000 drug users realized between 2010 -2014. These psychoactive substances have been linked to several mental disorders suicidal tendencies being one of them. Suicide has been on the rise globally in relation to these mental disorders linked to substance abuse. Objective: To establish suicidal tendencies among undergraduate students using alcohol and drugs in Makerere University. Methods: A descriptive quantitative cross-sectional study was carried out among 200 undergraduate students using alcohol and drugs in Makerere University. Study participants were conveniently sampled, and the MINI was used to collect data regarding substance and alcohol abuse, dependence and suicide tendencies. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to answer the study objectives. Results: Most of the participants were male (85%) and Protestant (46%). Among the participants, 10.5% had suicidal tendencies. At bivariate analysis, alcohol dependence, drug abuse and drug dependence were statistically significant. At multivariate analysis only, employment was statistically significant. Conclusion: Alcohol, drug abuse and dependence may influence suicidal tendencies among students. Therefore, suicidal tendencies should be assessed among students who use alcohol and other drugs. Students should be involved in many other innovative activities such as employment to keep them occupied.