YCA Sandwell
YCA Sandwell
YCA Sandwell
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Drug Misuse


Details of a recent survey into the attitudes and behaviour of the Yemeni community with respect to use and abuse of illegal substance.

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Drug Misuse Needs Assessment

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Profile of Respondents

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Summary of Findings

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Key Recommendations

Drug Misuse Needs Assessment

In 2001 the YCA in Sandwell received funding from the Department of Health and the University of Central Lancashire Ethnicity and Health Unit to undertake a Drug Misuse Needs Assessment on the Yemeni community.  A number of questionnaires were distributed, many being conducted and completed during face to face interviews with the respondents.  Where language was a problem, the interviews were conducted using the local Yemeni (Arabic) language and the responses recorded in English.

Profile of Respondents

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Gender balance:
70% of respondents were male - this may be indicative of drug misuse often being perceived as largely a male problem.

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Age distribution:

The overall range varied from 16 to over 55 years of age.

78% of respondents were under 35 years of age.

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Marital Status:

53% of respondents were single

44% of respondents were married

3% of respondents were divorced or separated.

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Country of Birth:

62% of respondents were born in the United Kingdom.

All of the remaining 38% were born in Yemen.

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Employment Status:

71% of respondents were not in paid employment.

Of these, 40% were in full time education or training, and 31% unemployed.


Summary of Findings
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Awareness of General Issues:

The main points raised concerning drug awareness include:

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86% of respondents were unaware of any drug misuse within the Yemeni community.

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54% of respondents felt that drugs were a problem in their area, but only 14% felt that the situation was out of control.

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56% of respondents felt that they had received some kind of drugs related information from various sources, including schools, family, friends and the media.

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Yemeni drug users found the quality of services for them to be of poor quality - less than 25% said that the service was at least "OK".

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Drug-specific Issues:

Drugs recognised as being commonly used in the community (and the proportion of respondents which recognised them as being used) were:

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Qat (91%)

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Cannabis/Marijuana (70%)

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Alcohol (49%)

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Use of Qat:

75% of respondents stated that they used Qat regularly:

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Qat users typically spend between £4 - £15 a week, with chewing sessions lasting on average 4-6 hours.

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A number of health related ailments are associated with Qat usage, including sleeplessness, loss of appetite and hallucinations.

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The majority of respondents claimed to have never faced any serious health issues associated with their use of Qat.


Key Recommendations  
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Education, confidential adivice and a wide range of information to be made available in Arabic.

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Youth facilities and activities are required to keep the younger members of the Yemeni Community engaged.

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Improve existing drug services to be more conducive to the needs of Muslims, and train community members to start addressing the problem.

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Community organisations such as the police, local Drug Action Teams, etc. to work together to achieve mutual targets.

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To address the issue of Qat directly, both at a community level and targeted national levels.  In particular, to concentrate on risk areas such as Birmingham, Sandwell, Sheffield, Liverpool and London through education, activities and awareness campaigns.



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