Day 1 :
- CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND CHILD MENTAL HEALTH
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Title: “No one has been seen standing in front of these taverns looking at these kids’ IDs”: The social and environmental challenges faced by psychosocial support interventions for adolescent orphans
Time : 10:00-10:30
Petunia Tsweleng is currently a fulltime doctoral student. She have a B.Ed. Educational Psychology honors degree and a psycho-socio masters' degree in Child and Family Studies. She is also a qualified Assessor and Moderator (registered with the HWSETA). She specializes in child, family and community development. She worked for three community-based Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work focused mainly on Child and Family Psychosocial Wellbeing, Adolescent Development and Community Health Wellness.
The psychosocial support programmes that are intended to enhance the psychological and emotional functioning of vulnerable adolescents in low-income communities are at risk of achieving less positive impact due to social and environmental risk factors such as high prevalence of local taverns, peer group pressure, and wrong role models among others. Research shows that, good health and overall wellbeing are often achieved through the influences of both downstream factors (interventions) and upstream factors (social and environmental resources). The current study explored the challenges faced by psychosocial support interventions offered to adolescent orphans to achieve psychological and emotional wellbeing as well as positive caregiving relationships with primary caregivers. The exploration was based on the narratives of stakeholders who provides the mentioned services. The study used qualitative method with a narrative inquiry approach. In-depth interviews were conducted with 6 stakeholders who were purposefully selected. Findings reveals that due to scarcity of sports and recreational centres for youth, some orphans often opted to spend leisure time at taverns during weekends and school holidays. This usually occurred when caregivers were at work. It was further explained that the choice to drink alcohol was also influenced by peer pressure and the multiple taverns surrounding these orphans. Although it is illegal to sell alcohol to under 18-year-olds in South Africa, in most cases, township taverns do cater younger adolescents -as reported by stakeholders. Even though interventions’ efforts to keep orphans on positive developmental paths were mostly commendable, boredom and local taverns remained high threats to the developmental outcomes of these vulnerable adolescents. Existing interventions need to be strengthened and increased in size and numbers. Furthermore, the government should prioritise training tavern owners on adequate management of these structures as well as on the detrimental outcomes caused by serving alcohol to underage adolescents who needs protection instead.
Keywords: Psychosocial Support Interventions, Adolescent orphans, Taverns, Stakeholders
1. Tsweleng, P., & Roman, N. (2013). “My mother has AIDS”: Stories of adolescents living in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Journal of Community and Health Sciences, 8(1), 47-56.
Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse, Nigeria
Nsidibe Francis is the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse programme manager in Nigeria. He is a clinical psychologist by training interested in redefining the goals of substance use treatment and integrating harm reduction practices into treatment for substance use dependence. He is a member of the research committee of the National Technical Working Group on Harm Reduction in Nigeria and also a member of Technical Working Group on Alternative to Incarceration for people who use drugs in Nigeria.
Substance use by women has been under-researched particularly, the nature of violence and stigma faced by females who use drugs in developing countries. This study draws on qualitative research in Nigeria, to explore how gender-based violence and stigmas around social identity categories (e.g. gender, sex work) shape drug use and contribute to treatment needs for marginalised women from deprived backgrounds in Nigeria. Qualitative data were collected via in-depth interviews with street-involved female substance users, and transcribed, coded and analysed thematically. 162 female drug users were selected from Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Lagos States. Initiation of substance use was influenced by partner’s use and social networks while the prevalence of stigma and sexual violence was reported by young females who use drugs and sell sex. Purchase of drugs at night was associated with a heightened risk of sexual violence, perpetrated by male users. Recreational use of prescriptive opioids such as tramadol and heroin overlapped with sex work, thereby increasing the risk of violence. Stigma against female drug users does not exist in isolation as it makes it difficult for them to access treatment services. They internalise stigma and develop a stigmatising identity that negatively impacts on their treatment-seeking. Reported abandonment of treatment was associated with low quality of services. The need to combat stigma through interventions that seek to improve gender relations, living conditions and access to treatment services for marginalised women who use drugs is important and will facilitate a reduction in health problems associated with women who use drugs.
Gautam Ghosh, Ph.D., PGDMRCH, MRTC (B. 10 January 1957) is a Consultant (earlier worked as Research Scientist in the Virology Department) National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, and National Consultant-cum-Master Trainer on harm reduction under the National AIDS Control Organization under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India. He is also attached voluntarily to a treatment-cum- rehabilitation center for People suffering with substance use disorder; and a front-line activists for prevention of alcoholism and substance misuse in the east and north-eastern India. He has his original research paper published in indexed national and international journals.
Drug overdose is a growing public health concern in India among Opioid users, with repeated drug overdose and associated death requiring urgent action. The latest National Crime Records Bureau report indicated gradual rise in reported overdose death among drug users. Besides, recently media reported drug overdose deaths on the rise in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Adding to the fatal drug overdose, a recent study indicated growing number of non-fatal drug overdose in India, indicative of growing future opioid overdose related morbidity among drug users. Aim and Methodology: This paper aims to understand the dimension of overdose incidences among drug users and the public health concerns that the issue poses for the country. Through review of recently published Government reports, study papers and media reports of the last five years, the article also attempts to suggest way forward to tackle the overdose related morbidity and mortality among drug users, given the fact that existing stigma over drug use and knowledge dearth on preventive intervention of drug overdose compound the problem. Conclusion & Way forward- Death following opioid overdose is preventable if the person receives basic life support and the timely administration of the opioid blocker drug. An important part of drug overdose prevention efforts is understanding the trends and regional and demographic differences that may exist, and thus strategize for both population and individual level interventions. There is general face validity of the concept that an ounce of prevention is better than cure. For India, the way forward for the purpose requires policy level thrust in the area of making available opioid antidote Naloxone all harm reduction targeted intervention and opioid substitution therapy centers, training of volunteers of specially launched National campaign in 272 vulnerable districts on recognizing overdose and providing fist aid measures, and scaling up opioid substitution therapy centers, among others.
Key words – opioid drugs, overdose, intravenous drug use, naloxone.
- NCRB Report 2022: https://ncrb.gov.in/en
- Romil Saini, et al: (2019) Rates, knowledge and risk factors of non-fatal opioid overdose among people who inject drugs in India: A community-based study; Drug and Alcohol Review,Vol 39, Issue 1Pages 93-97; https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.13016
- Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India:2019: https://socialjustice.gov.in
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. South Asia Regional Profile. India: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; 2005. Available from: https://www.unodc.org/pdf/india/publications/south_Asia_Regional_ Profile_Sept_2005/10_india.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Sep 20].
- UNODC Executive Summary Report: https://www.unodc.org/pdf/india/drug_use