Background: Increased rates of alcohol and drugs abuse has been noted among secondary school students in Botswana. Objectives : We conducted nine student focus groups to elicit motivations for substance use as well as risk and mitigating factors.
Methods: Participants were purposely sampled from among 2,227 secondary school students surveyed regarding drug/alcohol use in secondary schools. Students were selected for focus group participation based on their scores on the alcohol use and dependency inventory tool (AUDIT) and self-reported risk factors for alcohol/drug use.
Results: Students reported that alcohol/drugs are readily available at school and at home. A prominent theme among substance users was inadequate support from parents, who they describe as uncomfortable and unwilling to talk about common issues faced during adolescence, including alcohol/drug use.
Conclusions: We identified opportunities to improve the current situation such as renewing efforts to restrict alcohol availability and focusing on parent-child communication interventions.