Psychoactive Substance Use Related Psychological Problems at Two Selected Governmental Hospitals in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The general objective of this study was to explore psychoactive substance use related psychological problems at two selected governmental hospitals in Addis Ababa. The study also aimed at finding if there are duration of use, treatment intensity and number of substance use differences in exposure to the psychological problems (depression, anxiety and anger symptoms). Investigation of the psychological services in the two hospitals was also another objective. To meet these objectives, 68 substance users, 5 caregivers/parents and 5 health professionals were purposively selected and included int he sample. Three scales measuring the psychological problems (depressi n, anxiety and anger symptoms) and two semi - structured interviews were u ed as instruments. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were used to a alyze the data obtained through the scales and interviews. Percentage results showed that 69.2% of substance users showed above average level of depression while 58.8% of substance users showed moderate and severe level of anger symptom. Above moderate anxiety symptom was exhibited in only 25% of substance users' participants. Results from the analysis of variance indicated that there were no statistically significant duration of use and number of substance use differences in experiencing depression, anxiety and anger symptom levels. Only treatment intensity (inpatient and outpatient substance users) in experiencing depression were statistically significant variation but in relation to anxiety and anger were not statistically significant. The main and interaction effects of the three - way ANOVA, the treatment intensity (main effect) is found to bring statistically significant mean differences in depression level and the interaction effects (duration of use and number of substance use) indicated statistically significant differences in anger symptom levels. But the rest main and interaction effects of the three - way ANOVA came up with statistically non significant results. Interview results with caregivers/parents and health professionals showed the availability of psychological /counseling services in the two hospitals. Recommendations and implications of the study are indicated