Effects of substance abuse and addiction on society : a case study of KwaMashu Township.
Makhawula, Zamakhosi Favourite.
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Substance abuse is regarded as a pervasive problem across the world. The epidemic of substance abuse in the present generation has assumed alarming dimensions in society. The most commonly abused substances include heroine, opioids, alcohol, sedatives, cannabis, also known as dagga, cocaine, also called LSD, amphetamines and tobacco. Due to the high cost of drugs in the market, the majority of addicts are not able to procure it; as a result, they get involved in illegal activities. This research will assist to provide the figures of the current alarming rise of substance abuse among the study population and its effects in the society at large. The increasing trends of substance abuse amongst the population are shattering both the youth and adults. The alarming statistics of substance abuse in society can be attributed to its high addiction potential, easy availability, unemployment and socio-occupational pressures faced by people in the country. Creating an awareness regarding the side effects of drugs and their addictive potential should be spearheaded by implementing vigorous campaigns in the country. These should focus on preventive measures and treatment options available for addiction to the communities. The present study aims to explore the effects of substance abuse and addiction on society. The target population are the community members, a community leader and a school principal. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. The questionnaire that was developed had both closed- and open -ended questions. The thematic process was used to analyse the data which emanated from the findings whilst the qualitative data was analysed using pie charts, histograms and graphs. A mixed method approach was employed in this study. Findings show that community members and leadership have adequate knowledge towards substance abuse, as well the effects and impact of drugs abuse. Some of the recommendations suggested by the participants were interventions such as awareness campaigns, focus group discussions, education and developmental programmes; the suggestion was that these must be strengthened in order to fight the scourge of substance abuse in the community, which would lead to a drug- free society.