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Use of Psychoactive Substances in Schools in Benin: Ethnography of Contexts, Sources of Supply and New Habits

Odile Kougblenou, Pierre Meliho, Charles Sossa, Eric Akpi*, Ferdinand Adounkpe, Assad Bio Sya, Arnaud Agbanlinsou, Adolphe Kpatchavi, Dismand Houinato and Anatole Laleye

Several multidisciplinary studies have revealed that the use of Psychoactive Substances (SPS) by young people and adolescents has increased in recent years in schools in Benin. This article describes the contexts that facilitate access to these substances in schools, identifies the sources of supply, lists the different substances accessible and used by students and analyzes the new supply and consumption habits that are taking place, thus constituting a real public health problem of a transversal type, the survey took place from March to June 2020 in 20 high schools and colleges in the cities of Cotonou and Parakou. It involved 617 adolescents and young people aged 10 to 24, selected by the two stage cluster sampling technique. Sixty five (65) of these targets were selected by the reasoned choice and snowball technique for in depth qualitative interviews. Data processing was done with SPSS software for quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data. The results obtained have shown that non-compliance with pharmaceutical regulations, the development of the parallel market and the relaxation of morals promote access to SPAs by young people in schools in Benin. Alcohol (78.28%) was the most consumed substance, followed by amphetamine type stimulants (62.07%) and tobacco (45.06%). These different products were available on the parallel market (42.9%), peers (24.67%), and pharmacy (31.74%) and via the internet (1.13%). The results of this study have contributed to the fight against this growing phenomenon. It is necessary to strengthen compliance with the regulations and to raise awareness among the various players in the school world and parents about the use of SPAs.

Published Date: 2022-10-17; Received Date: 2022-07-21