The Experiences of Parents of Youth Abusing Substances in the Selected Hospitals in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Lina S. Hlahla1, *, Tebogo M. Mothiba1
1 Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa

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© 2022 Hlahla and Mothiba

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa; Tel: 015 268 4004; Fax: 015 268 3080; E-mail:



It is in the parents’ interest to protect their youth and keep them away from substance abuse. It can be particularly disturbing for them to learn that their youth child abuses substances. When a youth abuses the substance, it is normal for parents to experience feelings of guilt and sadness. Stress levels can increase when caring for a youth abusing substances.


A qualitative approach was used in the study. The explorative, descriptive, and contextual design was adopted to explore the experiences of parents of youth abusing substances. Purposive sampling was used to identify the participants for the study. Data was collected through Semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using Tesch’s steps for qualitative data analysis.


Results indicated that the parents go through various experiences, including poor physical health, poor emotional health, lack of knowledge related to substance abuse, lack of knowledge on where to get help, and inability to assist their youth out of substances. They also lack knowledge of substances abuse.


The study findings indicated that the parents of youth abusing substances have diverse experiences when dealing with their youth abusing substances. Parents should be equipped with knowledge and skills to manage different situations as they arise. This can be achieved through substance abuse awareness campaigns for the parents.

Keywords: Parents, Youth, Substance, Abuse, Experiences, Hospital.