Prevalence and Patterns of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among University Students


  • Lisbeth Kageni University of Nairobi
  • Muture B.
  • Madegwa I.
  • Kiriba J.
  • Aduda J. National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA)
  • Jaoko W.


Alcohol and drug abuse, undergraduate students, drug addiction


Globally, 29 million people face challenges on psychoactive substance abuse. Three million deaths and 132.6 million disability adjusted life years were attributed to alcohol globally in 2016. Use of psychoactive substances by the youth negatively affect cognitive development, judgement, health and academic outcomes, Kenya has 7.9 million youths aged 15-24 years, among which are University students. Individual characteristics and environmental influences from family and peers makes the youth vulnerable to psychoactive substance use. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of alcohol and substance use; factors associated with alcohol and substance use; and predictive factors for the vice among University students. The study was conducted at three purposively sampled University of Nairobi campuses. A selfadministered questionnaire on psychoactive substance use was used. Respondents were registered students at the time of study residing in the three campuses. Hostels were systematically sampled and rooms randomly selected. Independent variables included commonly used psychoactive substances. Dependent variables were age, gender, campus and year of study. Data was analyzed using Stata SE 12 software. Descriptive,
logistic regression and multivariate analysis were conducted. Majority of students were in the 20-24 years age bracket and the highest student proportion (29.3%) in 3rd year of study. The proportion of male respondents was 55.2%. Alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes were the most prevalent substances used at 41%, 14% and 13.5% respectively. Cocaine and heroin were the least used. Consumption of alcohol was significantly associated with male gender, higher year of study, city campuses (Main and Chiromo) and older age. Marijuana use was significantly associated with the male gender, higher year of study and older age. Use of cocaine and heroin were not significantly associated with any of the demographic factors under study. Male gender, city campuses and higher year of study were predictive factors for alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.






Research article

How to Cite

Prevalence and Patterns of Alcohol and Drug Abuse among University Students. (2022). African Journal of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (AJADA), 8(1), 30-42.

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