Impact of Drug and Alcohol Abuse School-based preventive Strategies on Pupils in Livingstone District of Zambia

Thumbnail Image
Masiye, Isaac
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study sought to determine the impact of drug and alcohol abuse school-based preventive strategies on pupils in Livingstone district of Zambia. The study was carried out in eight schools (Hillcrest, St Raphael’s, Linda, David Livingstone, Nalituwe, Linda West, Zambezi and Shungu). The Social Learning Theory by Bandura (1977) provided a theoretical framework for the study. The theory provided the researcher with an understanding of effective social learning role models that have an impact on pupils’ drug and alcohol abuse behaviour change. The study used a descriptive research design. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. A total number of two hundred and ten (210) respondents participated in the study. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select pupils and purposive sampling procedure was used to select teachers, head teachers and DEC officers, while snowball sampling procedure was used to select the sample for ‘friendship groups’ who participated in focus group discussions. Questionnaires were used to collect data from pupils and teachers, while semi-structured interview guides were used to collect data from Head Teacher and DEC officers. In addition, focus group discussion guide was used to collect data from pupils. Quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in order to generate tables, graphs and percentages. Thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Major themes were drawn from interviews with respondents for easy descriptions. The study found out that the drug and alcohol abuse preventive strategies used by teachers and the Drug Enforcement Commission in schools had a significant positive impact on pupils’ knowledge about drug and alcohol abuse prevention education, but had very little impact on pupils’ actual behaviour change. In addition, the study found that some delivery strategies used, such as timing, use of peer educators and involvement of parents were responsible for the positive impact on pupils’ knowledge, while the use of non-interactive strategies and lack of special training for teachers contributed to low level of impact on pupils behaviour change. On the basis of the study findings, it was recommended that School-based drug and alcohol abuse prevention should be based on more interactive strategies such as focus group discussions, role plays, games, and life skills training. These stimulate active participation and provide for practice in attitudes and skills for behaviour change. Providers of drug and alcohol abuse preventive education should teach pupils more of drug refusal skills in combination with social life skills and should extend it to lower grades in basic schools in order to cater for younger pupils. It was also recommended that both school authorities and DEC should use trained peer educators as role models for behaviour change. Teachers and peer educators should receive special training in drug and alcohol abuse preventive education. This is necessary to ensure motivation for them to participate fully. Drug and alcohol abuse preventive education should be provided on a regular basis and that DEC should conduct regular visits to schools. Other recommendations were that parents/guardians should be involved in supporting their children to live drug free lives. Funding to National Education Campaign Division of DEC should be increased to enable it to use research-based strategies such as focus group discussions, life skills training and role plays which need a lot of financial and material resources.
Alcoholism--Prevention(Schools)--Zambia , Drug Abuse--Prevention(Schools)-Livingstone-Zambia