Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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YIMENU Yitayih Abyu, Bahirdar Health Science College, Ethiopia

Khat abuse is an important public health problem and one of the major causes of disability worldwide. Khat use and criminal behavior are closely related, and a large proportion of khat users commit crimes. However, little is known about khat abuse among prisoners in Ethiopia.The objective of this paper is to assess khat abuse and associated factors among prisoners in Jimma correctional institution. An institution-based cross-sectional study design was used to collect data from a total of 336 prisoners. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. A number of tests – drug abuse screening test, alcohol use disorder identification test, Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence, psychopathy checklist: screening version, life event checklist and Oslo-3 item scale – were used to assess khat abuse, alcohol use disorder, nicotine dependence, psychopathy, adverse traumatic life event and social support respectively. Also, a structured questionnaire administered by an interviewer was used to collect data on sociodemographic and criminal history. Data was entered to epidata version 3.1 and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science version 21. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used during data analysis. Variables with p-value of less than 0.05 in the final fitting model were declared to be significantly associated with the outcome variable. The prevalence of khat abuse was 41.9%. Among prisoners with khat abuse, the most common causes of imprisonment were assault (34.8%, n=48) and theft (27.5%, n=38). Poor social support (AOR: 2.28, 95% CI =1.11, 4.67), psychopathy (AOR: 3.00, 95%CI= 1.71, 7.67), having a family history of substance use (AOR: 2.50, 95%=1.45, 4.31), suicidal ideation and attempted suicide (AOR: 2.26, 95% CI=1.23-4.17) and alcohol use disorder (AOR: 7.78, 95% CI= 4.16-14.53) were factors significantly associated with khat abuse. Khat abuse among prisoners was found to be high. Increased morbidity and the unpleasant psychosocial consequences and the strong interest among prisoners in obtaining treatment for khat abuse suggest a need for the establishment of prison-based treatment in Jimma correctional institution.