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According to World Health Organization (WHO), substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome which is a continuous, repeated and persistent use of the substance despite its harmful consequences; leading to a high priority being given to the use of the substance to the deterrent of other activities and obligations (WHO, 2014). According to World Drug Report (2014), the prevalence rate of problem of substance abuse users varies between 2.7% in Greece and 9.0% in UK as rate per 1,000 of populations aged 15-64 years in Europe. The United Kingdom, Italy and Spain are on the higher end of the range, whereas Greece, Germany and Hungary are countries with low rates problems of substance abuse. In the United States, 7 million people (2.8% of the population) aged 12 and older were considered substance dependent, abusing illicit substances. Cannabis was the illicit substance with the highest rate of dependence, followed by pain relievers (opioids) and cocaine. In Canada, 2.7% of the population aged 15 and older were reported to have experienced at least one type of physical, social, employment or legal problem due to illicit drug use (United Nations office on Drugs and Crime , 2014). According to substance abuse and mental health service administration‟s (SAMHSA) report in 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older are illicit drug users. This estimate represents 9.2 percent of the population aged 12 or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used non-medically and the rate of current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older increased from 8.1 percent in 2008 to 9.2 percent in 2012. Between 2007 and 2012, the rate of substance use increased from 5.8 to 7.3 percent and the number of users increased from 14.5 million to 18.9 million (SAMHSA, 2013). The youth occupy a prominent place in any society. They are one of the greatest assets any nation can have. Apart from being the leaders of tomorrow, they out-number the middle-aged and the aged. The youth are a particular segment of the national population that is sensitive, energetic, active and the most productive phase of life as citizens. The youth are also most volatile and yet the most vulnerable segment of the population in terms of social-economic, emotion and other aspects (Ajufo, 2013) Generally, drugs are helpful when they are properly used and destructive when they are misused or abused, but most youth are guilty of substance abuse (Mohammad, 2014). The use of illicit substances is a major public health problem in high income countries like the US. However, this problem of illicit substance use has spread rapidly to include middle and low income countries where most of its youth and adolescents are actively engaged in this illegal practice (Aliyu, 2014; Mohammad, 2014). The problem is worse in African countries, as the use of these substances is accompanied with a lot of risk behaviours such as crime, violence and suicide (Nsimba, 2010). For cocaine and heroin drug injectors, often have high chances of contracting infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, abscesses and other ill-health problems, such as drug dependence, which manifests with complex set of behaviours related to mental illnesses. Substance abuse is a problem to users, when it begins to cause some damage to their physical health, mental health and social well-being. These damages come in the form of mental illness, crime, violence and diseases e.g. HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis, which are related to the use of these substances (Nsimba, 2010). The amount of harm associated with the use of these substances, is increasing in Nigeria and other middle and low income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; as well as high income countries like the US (Aliyu, 2014). Although majority of the youth have a good understanding of the consequences of substance abuse, there is still a high prevalence of this phenomena occurring in Africa (Ekpenyong, 2012).

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