Stress, depression and substance abuse among adolescents
The study aimed at investigating the relationship between stress, depression and substance abuse among adolescents. The study objectives were; to find out the relationship between stress and depression; to find out the relationship between depression and substance abuse; to find out the relationship between stress and substance abuse. A correlational study design which was quantitative in nature was used in the study. A sample of 102 respondents was purposively selected. Self-administered questionnaires were employed in data collection. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was utilized in data analysis. The study findings indicated that there is; is a positive significant relationship between stress and depression at (r = 0.298**, p = 0.002 < 0.01); a positive significant relationship between depression and substance abuse at (r = 0.602**, p = 0.000 < 0.01); and no significant relationship between stress and substance abuse at (r = 0.041, p = 0.681 > 0.05). Therefore, equipping adolescents with appropriate stress coping mechanisms to buffer them from resorting to substance abuse is a necessity. There is also need to address depressive symptoms among adolescents as this may be an effective strategy in preventing the onset of many of the commonly used substances. Screening for substance abuse and referral to counselors’ care when need arises should be integral to part of school curriculums. In the same vein, increased levels of psychological assessment and treatment should be available for students at certain points, for example, when starting the term.