Youth Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS in Adama Town

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Addis Ababa University


The magnitude a/substance abuse and HIVIAIDS pandemics is ever increasing alld has brought multidimensional challenges. among youths in particular, and entire nations in general. However, dala regarding the contribution of substance abuse to the spread of HIVIAIDS is scanty in Ethiopia. This study was conducted 10 explore youth substance abuse and HIVIAIDS in Adamo Town. To this end, the following research questions were raised: I) What is lite magnitude of substance abuse among youth? 2) What jactors trigger young people 10 resort 10 substance abuse? 3) What is tlte effect of substance abuse, especially its contributio" /0 the spread of HIVIAfDS? The study was based on 81 days a/fieldwork using questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews, observation, 6 Focus Group Discussions and 5 case histories. The findings showed that different types of substances (chat, alcohol, shisha, tobacco, cannabis and inhalants) are abused either separately or in combination, 10 a great extent among youths (15-29 years old). Particularly, Catha edulis (chat) plays initiating role in cal/sing youths 10 further ,ake other substances. The substances are either locally available or imported. The youth are indulged in substance abuse for different reasons. Merton's anomie theory; Lindesmith's theory of addiction; and sub cultural pallerns and drug abuse model are therefore employed 10 comprehend the factors that (rigger the youth to substance abuse and the subsequent ramifications. Accordingly the study identified major reasons for abusing substances such as peer influence, psychological, and socioeconomic factors. Most abusers began consuming habit-forming substances at early ages when they were unable to differentiate between good and bad. Some substance abusing practices have ceremonies and processes that sometimes pave the way for sexual intercourse. Most often youth substance abusers indulge in unsafe sexual intercourse after they abuse substances. Psychological and social problems, economic crisis, and health problems are some of the effects that stem from substance abuse. Moreover, abusing substances could aggral'ate the spread of HIVIAIDS. The efforts made by some organizations to reduce the rampal1l prevalence of substance abuse and lheir adverse impacts are diametrically incompatible with the magnitude of the problem. Therefore, on the basis of Ihe findings, the researcher recommends creating job opportunities, increasing awareness and recreational facilities, and avoiding stigma and discrimination towards youth substance abusers and AIDS patients.



HIV/AIDS in Adama Town