Substance abuse is a multi-etiological, multi-dimensional and a worldwide problem with an alarming increase in its incidences. This study aimed to evaluate the patterns of use of psychoactive substances and to assess the predominant personality traits among the participants. This cross-sectional study used a purposive sampling technique to examined in-patients with substance abuse problem in a psychiatric facility in Maiduguri. One hundred and four (98.1%) males and (1.9%) females with mean age (x) of 31.1 years and SD (± 7.5) participated in the study. The study revealed cigarette (stimulant) as the most current substance of abuse 74.0%, cannabis (hallucinogen) 71.1%, opiates 69.2% and depressants 60.5%. Additionally, 87.5% of the participants used multiple psychoactive substances. Lastly, 90.4% of the participants’ scores were above the mean on Neuroticism, 73.1% on Psychoticism and 55.8% on Extraversion measures. High scores on the three dimensions of personality traits (Psychoticism, Extraversion and Neuroticism) have significant associations to psychoactive substance abuse. The study, therefore, recommend the incorporation of personality assessment in the routine work up and management of patients with substance abuse problems.
Key words: Substance abuse, personality traits, patterns of use, in-patients, mental health facility.