ADOLESCENT PEER INTERACTION: PERSPECTIVES ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE
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In the face of controversy regarding the issues pertaining to the politics of development, the current increase of substance abuse among school-going adolescents in South Africa is a serious issue which needs urgent attention. This paper contends that in drug abuse prevention is still better than cure. Substance abuse trends in South Africa vary from region to region and from population group to population group. Dagga and Dagga and Mandrax smoked together in a pipe remain the drugs most favoured by school-going adolescents while the usage of certain club drugs such as Ecstacy are on the increase. The relationship between peer group pressure and substance abuse among school-going adolescents has been well supported by research and widely acknowledged in the literature. However, currently little research focused on the positive aspects of peer cluster interaction in terms of substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation. The qualitative research in this paper will focus on peer interaction in terms of substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation while the positive aspects of peer interaction will be illuminated. The adolescent substance abuser's life-world experiences and peer group clusters' increased use of club drugs will be probed. The formation of peer group clusters during adolescence and peer group pressure will be discussed. A brief analysis of the ethnographic case study design will be presented while the final analysis will constitute the research findings and recommendations for further research on a quantitative and a qualitative basis.
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