Community leaders' perception of risk factors that influence methamphetamine addiction in two low socio-economic status communities
Substance abuse is a global epidemic which is internationally recognised as an illness, characterised as being primary, chronic, progressive and terminal. Methamphetamine in South Africa is now drawing the interest of younger first time drug users from as young as thirteen years old, who are presenting at various rehabilitation centres in Cape Town. Many of the low socio-economic status areas are afflicted communities in Cape Town, which has been recognised by the Provincial government as an area troubled with societal concerns such as poverty, risky behaviour while using drugs or alcohol, violence and social disintegration. This qualitative study has its focus on the community leaders‟ perceptions of risk factors contributing to the spread of methamphetamine addiction in Manenberg and Lamberts Bay. The stigma attached to this area is often one that paints the portrait of a crime-ridden, desolate and poor community. The aim is to identify which risk factors community leaders believe are contributing to the increase of methamphetamine addiction in the area. Bronfenbrenner's social-ecological systems approach will act as a framework for this research study as well as utilising thematic analysis. It provides an understanding by which various systems within a community function and mutually co-operate. This allows one to expand on connotations ingrained in data collected from study participants.