The role of community education in curbing drug abuse among youth: a case study of Uganda youth development link (UYDEL), Kawempe division
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The world over, community education has been significant in changing different bad situations as far as drug abuse is concerned. The failure of many efforts like routine arrests of drug abusers, imprisonment, family neglect, isolation, and many others led to the emergency of community education. In the month of February 2019, Kawempe police station recorded over 1000 cases of drug related Offenses particularly involving youth aged from 13-24 years and all these were attributed to parental negligence, high illiteracy levels, high degree of unemployment, extreme poverty, peer groups, among others. In order to understand the reasons for juvenile drug abuse behavior, various theoretical perspectives were utilized and strategies to curb drug abuse among the youth were identified. This study was conducted in the slum areas of Bwaise-Kawempe division, Kampala district capital city of Uganda. The participants integrated where those from UYDEL service center who alienated the study. Using the quantitative data collection tool, self-administered questionnaires were used to 50 youth respondents and the qualitative data involved usage of explorative research design where structured interviews were employed to key informants including two Program Manager, 10 Community Facilitators, two Local Leaders and 10 Family Members. The study found that drugs abused by the youth include Kuber, marijuana, nicotine, khat, cannabis and heroin and the most affected areas included Bwaise, Kimumbasa, Jambula, Kikoni, Kazo, Katoogo among others. The reasons given for using these drug substances among youth include peer pressure, individual, family and environmental factors were identified as the primary factors for juvenile drug use. This study emphasizes the role of community educators in carrying out drug abuse preventative education programs employed by different stakeholders more so in UYDEL. At the same time, it succeeds in highlighting the impacts of these programs to drug abusers and their families, strategies that could be employed to address drug abuse, and the challenges that are faced by community educators in curbing drug abuse among the youth in Kawempe Division. In addition, this study recommends a concerted effort by all the stakeholders in curbing the problem of drug abuse among youth.