Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Substance abuse has continued to increase in Tanzania particularly among youth with minority of them seeking the available health services. This study sought to determine the relationship between awareness and decision making on health seeking and utilization behaviors among youth involved in substance abuse in Kinondoni municipality, Dar es Salaam. Concurrent mixed methodology was used. Data were collected among youth with substance abuse problems through face-to-face interviews (n=300) using a structured survey questionnaire. In addition, in-depth interviews (n=23), and focus group discussions (n=5) were conducted. The quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. Content analysis was used for analyzing qualitative data. Results showed that (74.3%, n=223) of the respondents did not seek and utilize the available treatment options. The majority (62.4%, n=187) of them did not know that their substance abuse problems can be treated using the available treatment options, and 78.2% (n=235) of the participants had little or no concerns about their substance abuse problems. The majority of participants had little information regarding the treatment of substance abuse and major sources of information about substance abuse treatment options were through friends and families followed by radio and television. The reasons related to not seeking and utilizing the available health services may be associated with the low awareness levels of the available treatment options among individuals with substance abuse, little belief that their substance abuse problem can be treated, and having less or no concern about their substance abuse problem. Thus future studies are needed to examine the accessibility and acceptability of the available rehabilitation services for substance abuse in Dar es Salaam.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

Included in

Psychology Commons