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Exploration of Heroin Use Behaviors and its Associated Risk Factors among Youth with Heroin-Dependence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Current Issue
Volume 1, 2014
Issue 2 (April)
Pages: 14-20   |   Vol. 1, No. 2, April 2014   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 21   Since Aug. 28, 2015 Views: 1467   Since Aug. 28, 2015
Ezekiel H. Mbao, College of Nursing, International Medical and Technological University P.O. Box 77594, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Tumbwene E. Mwansisya, College of Health Sciences, University of Dodoma, P.o Box 395, Dodoma, Tanzania.
Objective: Heroin abuse among youth in Tanzania continued to increase over the past decades. This study sought to explore heroin abuse among youth in Dar es Salaam. Methodology: The study comprised of 16 participants (15 males) aged between 18 to 25 years who were obtained through snow ball sampling technique. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to inquire their general knowledge, attitude, practices and the associated risks on heroin use. The sample size was determined by saturation principle; till when the researchers found no further new information emerging from in-depth interviews. Main findings: Most participants reported peer pressure and lack of formal employment as contributing factors for engaging in heroin use. Though most participants acknowledged heroin use to be accompanied with several consequences, but found difficult to abstain from it. The underlying reasons for these were continuous peer pressure, lack of effective drug rehabilitation services and withdrawal syndrome. The risk factors that reported to be associated with heroin use included mental illnesses, marital conflicts, risk to infections, robbery, legal problems, and rejection from families, friends and community at large. Conclusion and recommendations: This study demonstrated that individuals with heroin dependence encounter several difficulties towards abstinence including complexity of peer pressure and other patterns of social networks. Thus, future studies are warranted to explore the complex relationship between heroin use and associated risk factors in Tanzania.
Heroin Abuse, Illicit Drugs, Knowledge, Youth, Risk Factors, Dependence
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