Experience of drug use among undergraduate students of Social Sciences at Makerere University
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Uganda is ranked among the countries with the highest estimates of per capita consumption of drugs and alcohol in the world. In this context,30% of the young Ugandans grapple with drug addiction but they hardly receive the treatment they need. This study examines the experience of drug use among Undergraduate Students of Social Sciences at Makerere University. Specifically, the study sought to: document the common types of drugs used; examine the factors contributing to drug use; assess the students' experiences of drug use; and assess the strategies used to deal with drug use among Makerere university students. The study used a qualitative approach in which a case study design was adopted to examine student experiences of drug use at Makerere university. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with students in combination with key informant interviews with university managers and administrators, and a review of existing documents. Field and interview notes were coded and thematically analyzed. The main findings show that Cannabis, Alcohol and Tobacco were the most commonly used drugs among Makerere university students. The main factors contributing to the use of these drugs by the students were: availability of drugs, family pressure, frustration, the desire to have fun and the desire to gain confidence, among others. Students who used drugs were found to experience addiction, have academic difficulties, suffer health related problems and suffer loss of trust from their beloved ones. To address the problem of drug use among students, the university adopted different strategies, which included: preventive talks, adoption of 03+ program and banning some social functions within campus like bazaar week and porridge night parties. This work has important implications for designing interventions aimed at effective prevention and control of drug use among university students and similar groups in Uganda.