Adolescent substance abuse is not only a significant burden on the abusing individuals, but also on their families, particularly their parents. The study explored the experiences of parents of substance-abusing adolescents. A descriptive phenomenological research design was employed. Six female participants from low socio-economic communities in Pretoria participated in the study. In-depth interviews were used by the researcher to gather data by means of a semi-structured questionnaire. The research elicited themes and sub-themes through thematic analysis of the six transcripts of interviews with the participants. The findings of the study were consistent with both international and local studies, even though the contexts differed. The results of the study revealed that parents experienced difficulty in accessing support for themselves and their child or children; consequently they often sought solace in spirituality. Parents reported a great deal of stress and psychological strain due to their children’s psychoactive substance use. Adolescent psychoactive substance abuse strained the family’s finances and resulted in strained relationships with parents, siblings, and community members. Despite these challenges, many parents felt obliged to help their children and never gave up on them.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.