Alcohol and drug use and other high-risk behaviors among youth in the slums of Kampala, Uganda: Perceptions and contexts obtained through focus groups

Monica Swahn, Melissa Haberlen, Jane B. Palmier

Abstract


Swahn, M., Haberlen, M., & Palmier, J. (2014). Alcohol and drug use and other high-risk behaviors among youth in the slums of Kampala, Uganda: Perceptions and contexts obtained through focus groups. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 3(4), 289-295. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v3i4.171

Aims: The study seeks to determine perceptions of and contexts for risky behaviors among street and slum youth in Kampala, through focus groups.


Design: Three 90-minute focus groups were conducted in Luganda (local language) to ask specific questions on alcohol and drug-related behaviors among youth in the slums.


Setting: Uganda Youth Development Link drop-in centers for disadvantaged youth in Kampala.


Participants: 31 participants, aged 14 to 24 years.


Measures: The focus group probes were based on the World Health Organization report “Working With Street Children: Module 5: Determining the Needs and Problems of Street Children—A Training Package on Substance Use, Sexual and Reproductive Health Including HIV/AIDS and STDs.”


Findings: Results show that these youth engage in a number of risky behaviors, including alcohol and drug abuse, fighting and weapon carrying, delinquency, prostitution and unsafe sexual behaviors.


Conclusions: The study provides context for risky behaviors in this population, which can provide useful insights and help to guide resource allocation and intervention planning for services that seek to reduce adverse health outcomes in this vulnerable population, particularly those related to alcohol and drug use.

 


Keywords


youth; underserved; alcohol; behaviors; qualitative; Kampala; Uganda

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v3i4.171

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