The evaluation of the magnitude of drug abuse, trafficking and related issues in selected primary schools in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar es Salaam region

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Southern New Hampshire University
Tanzania like many countries in the world is faced with upward trends in drug abuse and trafficking which have detrimental socio-economic, political and health consequences on our society. The incidence of drug abuse is on the increase amongst young people and school children and it becomes more apparent every year. Experience from working with drug users suggests that for many, unemployed, frustration, emotional problems, family problems and the general unfavorable living environment are but few key factors that encourage drug use and trafficking among young people. Drug abuse impairs judgment and may be associated with other risk taking behaviors of young people and as such preventable measures of both physical and mental incapacity are matters of the individuals and national concerns. Research findings show that primary school pupils were mainly involved in drug abuse and trafficking deals due to the fact that they are considered to be trustful naive and innocent. The victims in schools possess diverse characteristics such as truants, disobedient, cruel, poor performer in class, sleepy destructive dropouts, and provocative as well as argumentative. Also it was found out that drugs nowadays form an everyday part of lives of many young people in Tanzania. It is against this reality that the focus of the study is deliberately limited to the evaluation of the magnitude of drug abuse and trafficking among school children in Tanzania. The findings of the study will be used to develop prevention programmes in schools focusing on children's social and academic skills, including peer relationships, self control, coping and drug refusal skills. It is recommend in this research report that anti drug abuse and trafficking to be launched all over the country; the National Policy on drug abuse and trafficking should address the primary school children; teachers and finally it is recommended to introduce drug abuse and trafficking educational programmes in schools that should focus on children's social and academic skills. The programmes should also include enhancing peer relationships, self-control, coping and doing refusal skills. The challenge ahead of seeing to it that we build a health nation that is free of drug abuse and trafficking is truly staggering. Yet, as human beings, we cannot afford to fail. (Author abstract)