EFFECTIVENESS OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE MITIGATION PROGRAMMES AMONG THE YOUTH IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF EAST AFRICA
Global statistics show persistence of alcohol and drug abuse among the youth. In response to this, religious organizations have come up with Programmes aimed at mitigating alcohol and drug abuse. However, the problem continues to persist despite the significant role religions play in the society. This study investigated the effectiveness of alcohol and drug abuse mitigation Programmes among the youth in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. The target population was 2,835,000 members in the PCEA. The accessible population was the Church elders, Parish ministers, Presbytery moderators, the PCEA youth director and the youth members who included the youth abusing alcohol and drugs. Multistage Cluster Sampling technique was used to select three PCEA regions from the five regions. Church elders, Parish ministers, youth members and PCEA presbytery moderators formed three clusters. Snowball sampling technique was used to get the youth who are abusing alcohol and drugs. Purposive sampling was used to select the youth director. The study had a total sample of 928 respondents. A descriptive survey research design was used to obtain qualitative data. Instruments for data collection were questionnaires, structured interview schedule and focus group discussions. Data collected using questionnaires was cleaned and coded for analysis using statistical package for social sciences. Tape recorded data from the interview was transcribed verbatim. Data was analyzed qualitatively. Data was presented using frequency tables and discussions. The findings show that referring youth to rehabs, involving them in Church activities and engaging them in alcohol forums were effective. However, Programmes such as seminars, workshops, conferences, Bible study, guidance and counseling as well as having a drug education desk were not effective. Overall, the programmes were found not to be effective (mean = 2.282). In order to enhance effectiveness, the study established that youth involvement in management of the Programmes, training of pastors in alcohol and drug abuse could be employed as part of the intervention. The study recommends thorough training of the clergy, funding of alcohol and drug abuse mitigation Programmes and involving the youth in the management of Programmes
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