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Children, Substance Abuse and the Role of Social Work

Kabo Diraditsile, Omogolo Mabote


The study determined children’s experiences of and views on substance abuse, and the role of social work practice. It adopted a quantitative approach using a descriptive survey design. Data were collected using structured questionnaires with a total of 100 randomly selected students from the Tshwaragano Junior Secondary School in Botswana. The data were coded and quantitatively analysed using SPSS. A research permit and permission to enter the school were obtained from the Institutional Review Board of the University of Botswana, and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. Furthermore, parental or guardian informed consent was obtained before the data collection. The findings reveal that various illegal substances widely used by students manifested in psychosocial issues. Moreover, it was also affirmed that despite government programme interventions designed to end substance use in schools, the situation remained unabated. This paper recommends that social workers contribute to this area in order to play a greater role in advocating for their clientele to receive the most effective interventions so that they can fight substance abuse. The paper concludes that generating reliable empirical data will increase awareness on the subject with the aim of making schools a conducive and better environment for students.


substance abuse/use; children; social work; Botswana

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