A Transformational Approach to the Public Health Impact of Substance Abuse Among the Adolescent Population of Grande Prairie, Canada

by Adegbenro Zachariah Adekojo
June 1st, 2024
This project explored the reasons behind adolescent substance use and abuse in the city of Grand Prairie, Canada, and how churches and other organizations could best help to address the problem. Qualitative research was conducted among personnel in agencies and other organizations directly working with adolescents experiencing substance abuse. Areas of risk factors studied included environmental, social, family dynamics, economic, and mental health. Exposure to high-risk factors within these areas was shown to increase the vulnerability of adolescents to substance abuse There was agreement among the project participants on the need for collaborative efforts of religious organizations, private and governmental organizations, and other NGOs to reduce substance abuse among adolescents. Collectively, these entities need to provide enabling avenues that will change the cognitive bias of adolescents towards a more palliative measure to deal with their struggles. Based on this study, the greatest determining factor in substance use and abuse is the strength of self-determination of an individual. Therefore, agencies and other organizations could help by providing suitable substratum that will help fortify their own self-determination so that they will reject the idea of using substances. Concerted efforts should be deployed
towards building a virile enabling environment that will deliver a strong orientation that is geared towards positive self-determination. Further studies should be done on the ways to boost self-determination to help youth to make positive decisions against substance abuse irrespective of their exposure to the risk factors.