Adolescents’ perceptions of the ‘substance use violence nexus’: a South African perspective
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The aim of the study was to explore adolescents’ perceptions of substance use as a contributing factor to community violence by employing a conceptual framework proposed by Goldstein. Data were collected from a sample of adolescents between the ages of 15 and 16 years by means of focus group interviews. Theoretical thematic analysis was used to analyse and interpret the findings. The participants’ perceptions indicated that substance use and withdrawal symptoms induce physiological and behavioural modifications resulting in aggression and violence. The findings also suggest that participants believed that substance users frequently commit property and violent interpersonal crimes such as theft, robbery, assault and murder to procure their substances. Further, the adolescents’ perceived violence to be rooted within gang culture as well as the involvement in shared markets for illicit substance trading.