The Pharmaco epidemiological Aspect of Psychoactive Prescription Containing Drug of Abuse & Misuse in Sub Saharan Africa

The use of psychoactive prescription drugs such as sedative/hypnotics, anxiolytics, antiepileptic’s, and opioids analgesics has become widespread all over the world and continues to pose a threat to the overall healthcare system. Opioids analgesics are one of the most prescribed psychotropic drugs for varying reasons, partly due to their increasing accessibility and partly associated with the prescription patterns among health care professionals. Furthermore, the wide availability coupled with a public misunderstanding about the potential addiction and harmful effect of the substances, have contributed to the recent increase of the non-medical use of prescription opioids and an equivalent increase in emergency visits for opioids use-related problems.

According to the UNODC, it is estimated that around 155-250 million people with an age range from 15 - 65 had previously used illicit substances, with cannabis illicit use been the most widely (130-190 million people) followed by amphetamine-like stimulants, opiates, and cocaine. Nonetheless, Opiates are ranked first in terms of use related harms and destructions.
A broader understanding of the extent of illicit drug use and misuse necessitates the deployment of various parameters. For instance, it is estimated that there are between 700,000 to 3 million users of opioids in Africa, even though the vast majority of data is missing to ascertain the true figures. Mauritius, Kenya accounts for the highest prevalence use of opioids with 1.9% and, 0.7% respectively. According to the report, South Africa is the only country in Africa with an active drug use surveillance system based on demand.


As a regulation, consumption, and availability differ according to the geographical location, this review aims to study the pharmacoepidemiological aspect of opioids analgesic prescription abuse and misuse and to investigate the trends and variations in Sub Saharan African countries.



The review aims to summarise established literature contented in original articles, reviews, systemic reviews, meta-analysis, reports, pre-prints, and short communications that coincides with the specific objective of the research, by searching the specific keywords in the various indexing site like Scopus, Research Gate, Google Scholar, Science Direct, J-Gate, and PubMed.

Author(s): Abubakar Mukhtar

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