Prevention and Control of Substance Abuse among Youths: An Exploratory Study in Jimma Town

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Addis Ababa University


Drug abuse is an international problem, which affects almost every country in the world, both developed and developing countries. This study aimed at examining the mechanisms laid out for the prevention and control of substance abuse among youths in Jimma town. An exploratory type of qualitative research was employed in the study. Ten youths: four drug abusers from Jimma University and six from Jimma town and four officials who work on issues that deal with drug abuse issues from Jimma University Specialized hospital, Jimma town youth center, FMHCACA and Jimma town police administration: a total of fourteen participants were selected by using purposive sampling. In using this technique, it was supplemented by inclusive criteria to make the selection free of the researcher’s bias. In-depth interview with key informants interview and observation were employed in collecting data relevant to the study. The recorded data were carefully transcribed, cross-checked and organized into easily retrievable sections. Then familiarization, coding and categorization were the next steps employed in the study. Furthermore the concept of the summarized themes in relation to the study questions were presented thematically and discussed in relation to the literature review and the conceptual framework of the study. The finding of the study indicated that the environment influenced the respondents directly or indirectly to get involved in drug abuse and the most commonly abused drugs in the town were khat and cigarette. The finding of the study also indicated that drug abuse problem and the prevention and control activities and movements were not yet equal or balanced. That means however drug abuse problem is going deep in the town; the prevention activities were not given priority and needs further work. The major findings were discussed in relation with the objective of the study and the reviewed literatures and conclusions were made. The overall risk for addiction is impacted by the biological make up of the individual that can even be influenced by gender or ethnicity, his or her developmental stage and the surrounding social environment like conditions at home, at school and in the neighborhood. The general purpose of substance abuse prevention and control is to promote health and well-being by encouraging a substance-free way of life and by reducing substance use and substance-related harm.Finally the implication for social work education, research, practice and policy was discussed



Substance abuse; Drug abuse; Addiction