EXPERTS say the use of sexual enhancement drugs is an emerging public health problem that requires a university-wide health awareness campaign to stop among single students in Nigerian universities.
In a new study, researchers say 39.6% of single students in a survey at the University of Port Harcourt had used performance-enhancing drugs at least once, and more men took only women (71.8%).
According to the study, the most commonly used drugs are tramadol (33.5%) and viagra (29.9%); about 8.9% of those who use performance-enhancing drugs do not use a condom, and both men and women reported headaches (23.4%) and abdominal cramps (19.6%) lasting more 24 hours.
The study, based on an online descriptive cross-sectional study that involved 340 male and female University of Port Harcourt students from March to May 2022, said there was no significant association between use of performance-enhancing drugs and school grades, but anxiety, orgasmic dysfunction, and low sexual desire were important determinants of those who were likely to use these drugs.
Dr Hanson Pepple, one of the authors of the study presented at the 2nd edition of the Ibadan Public Health Conference, said that while many believe that performance-enhancing drugs are the solution to sexual dysfunction, their use is associated with several health problems.
Dr Pepple said a lot of mismanagement in the media has led many young people to be misled about the effects of performance-enhancing drugs.
According to him, “we were interested in safer sex as well as good sexual and reproductive health. We wanted to get a picture of the awareness of the adverse effects of using sexual enhancement drugs, as many use them without knowing the implications.
“The proportion we found is consistent with what happens in the general population, meaning it’s a problem across all age groups. The side effects of the performance-enhancing drug, in its most more serious, include rage, antisocial and violent behavior and lack of sexual intimacy between the two partners.