Main Article Content

Drug Use Patterns and Socio-Demographic Profiles of Substance Users: Findings from a Substance Abuse Treatment Programme in Gaborone, Botswana

M Selemogwe
S Mphele
K Manyanda


Substance abuse is a critical problem in Botswana, yet empirical evidence on substance users is limited. The current study sought to examine patterns of drug use and sociodemographic profiles of clients who sought treatment at a substance abuse treatment centre in Gaborone, Botswana. Findings showed clients’ age ranged from 13-64 years with a mean age of 28.55 years and SD ±12.59 years. More than half of the clients reported use of legal drugs (76.9%, n=307) and alcohol was the most frequently reported drug (n= 236, 59.1%). In contrast, slightly more than  half of the clients reported use of illegal drugs (53.1 %, n=212) with marijuana being the most prevalent reported illicit drug (74%, n=104). Chi-square analysis also showed differences in use of illegal drugs as a function of clients’ gender (χ2 (1) =13.51, p ˂001) and as a function of the clients’ age (χ2 (4) = 64.04, p˂ .000). The findings of the current study have implications for the formulation of efficient substance abuse policy and interventions and as such recommendations are provided.

Key Words: Substance abuse treatment, drug use, illicit drugs, Botswana, sociodemographic variables