Effects of substance abuse on the behaviour of youths in Nabumali Town Council, Mbale District
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This research study explored the effects of substance abuse on the behaviour of young people in Nabumali Town Council Mbale district. This study covered three objectives which were; a) to establish how substance abuse influences social behaviour, b) to find out how substance abuse influences socioeconomic behaviour and c) establish health seeking behaviour of substance abusing youths. A cross-sectional research design was used. 30 youths (male and female) and 10 key informants were purposively recruited in the study. Semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and observation methods were used during data collection. Questionnaires, an interview guide, and observation checklist tools were utilised to collect data. Quantitative data analysis was conducted with support of Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) to determine the frequency distribution of several variables. Qualitative data was analysed through thematic data analysis. Findings suggest that young people engage in legal and illegal activities to earn an income. Often crime is an outcome of excessive substance intake, with theft being the highly committed crime (60%). The study also found out that young people engage in unsafe sexual practices when they abuse substances. Substance abusing youths prefer self-treatment to seeking care from health facilities. Seeking care often happens when they contract Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The study findings conclude that addressing drug abuse among young people could contribute to significant reduction in participation in crime.