214056 Why I did drugs: A glimpse into the life of young Lebanese drug users

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Alexandra Ataya, MPH, CHES , Faculty of Health Sciences, Health Promotion and Community Health Dept., American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Patricia Haddad, MPH , Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Association (MENAHRA), Soins Infirmiers Developpement Communautaire, Beirut, Lebanon
Chantale Kallas, MPH , Youth Connection Project Manager, Youth R.I.S.E., Beirut, Lebanon
There are few studies related to illicit drug use in Lebanon. According to local rehab centers the number of drug users is on the rise even though the studies that are done do not reflect this. The objective of this study was to understand the social determinants that may play a role in illicit drug use and to contribute to the design of local preventive programs. Over the span of 5 months, 3 focus groups and 18 interviews were done with ex-drug users in a Local Rehabilitation and follow-up center. Questions on a range of topics related to lifestyle, background, perceptions, and personal circumstances were addressed. A total of 33 male and female participants, ages 18-25 were part of the study. Common themes that arose in the data included: the lack of a stable family structure, being part of a broken home, searching for a sense of belonging, traumatic and/or unusual experiences during childhood and early adolescence, drug use as a coping mechanism, release from personality traits, boredom, availability and accessibility. Due to the fact that no qualitative studies have been done with drug users in Lebanon, these themes may help give insight into the situation and possible underlying issues behind drug use. It is a new perspective and should be followed by more research with the affected groups in order to be able to begin to understand how to focus prevention programs in our community.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least 2 possible reasons behind illicit drug use among young adults in Lebanon

Keywords: Drug Use, Young Professionals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee and plan awareness programs part of which is understanding and identifying the reasons behind risky behavior.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4130.0: Drug Use Across the Globe