Raising a young addict: Parental narratives on living with a teenager with substance abuse problems
This study aimed at exploring experiences of parents whose teenage children have a substance abuse problem and are receiving treatment for such a problem in an outpatient treatment centre in Soweto. The current study was carried out with nine parents whose teenage children abused substances. These parents were purposefully selected using non-probability sampling. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and then thematically analysed. The study shows that parents experience all sort of negative feelings/emotions ranging from self-blame, helplessness, anger and guilt. The study further revealed that parents have feelings of inadequacy in parental responsibilities. Substance abuse is a family disease which in addition to the user themselves affects the whole family. Parents of teenagers who have substance abuse problems need psycho-social support so as to enhance their social functioning.
Keywords: teenager, substance abuse, parental experiences