Understanding the bio-psychosocial effects of whoonga use by youth in KwaMashu Township, north of Durban.
Khumalo, Nkululeko Mphumeleli.
MetadataShow full item record
Drug addiction is a chronic disease with users suffering bio-psycho and social effects. Whoonga is a relatively new addition to the drug market. The devastating effects on the lives of young people using whoonga have not been adequately explored and understood. Although, substance use is a world wide problem, the literature dealing with whoonga use is somewhat out dated or irrelevant. The classification of the substance as dangerous by the media in 2014 suggests that there is a need to establish clear danger levels as well as the effects of its use. This study thus aimed to gain a holistic and multi dimensional understanding of the effects of whoonga use by youth in KwaMashu Township, north of Durban. A qualitative research methodology and the bio-psychosocial approach were employed to understand whoonga addiction. The participants were purposively selected. Social workers and nurses at the KwaMashu outpatient treatment centre screened and referred those who were interested in participating in the study. Data collection was conducted at the centre by means of semi-structured interviews. Only willing and voluntary research participants participated. Ten male whoonga users were interviewed. All the interviews were audio recorded and transcribed after data collection, and thematic content analysis was employed. The major findings of the study were that whoonga addiction has no age limit and awareness, prevention and treatment programs should thus target all age groups; whoonga users suffer bio-psychosocial effects and become trapped in bio-psychosocial problems such as addiction, vulnerability to HIV infection, low self-esteem, anger and aggression, isolation by families and communities; they become involved in criminal activities and they have slim chances of being employed. These findings highlight the need for community-based awareness, treatment and supportive programs.