A Baseline Survey for Drugs and Substance Abuse (DASA) in Primary and Secondary Schools in Uganda

  • Leonsio Matagi School of Psychology, Makerere University
  • Grace Kibanja School of Psychology, Makerere University
  • Felix Besigomwe School of Psychology, Makerere University
  • Confidence Asiimwe School of Psychology, Makerere University
  • Patrick Mwase School of Psychology, Makerere University
Keywords: Drug, Substance, Drug abuse


The DASA baseline survey aimed to provide comprehensive and varied evidence-based interventions in enhancing educational outcomes. It focused on reducing the impact of drug/ substance abuse among pupils and students to improve their future productivity and employability. The respondents were both male and female primary and secondary students ranging from primary six and seven and senior two, three and six. The key informants were; male and female teachers, headteachers and community leaders. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was adopted. Findings from this DASA baseline survey were from the five regions of Uganda, involving twenty-one districts and seventy-five both private and government primary and secondary schools. These findings imply that the respondents were adolescents and young adults who are at the experimental stage. Most pupils/students revealed that they had at one time or used some of the substances known to be of an effect when not stopped. Key informants mentioned: peer influence, child neglect, lack of guidance and counselling, ignorance, easy access to drugs, stress and weak school administration as the most common causes of drug and substance abuse among pupils and students in schools in Uganda. They further exposed several bad effects of drugs and substances including; school dropout, liver and brain damage, diseases and health disorders, indiscipline, poor academic performance, high crime rates, death, rape and defilement, less concentration in the classroom, early marriages and early pregnancies, damaged immune system, addiction and disobedience. Teachers, headteachers and community leaders suggested a list of strategies to stop drugs and substance abuse in schools, with the most mentioned strategies being: sensitization of pupils/students about the dangers of using drugs and substances, guidance and counselling, strict laws against user. It recommended that the government should put strict laws against abuse of drugs and substances. Several recommendations have been provided based on the survey findings.


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How to Cite
Matagi, L., Kibanja, G., Besigomwe, F., Asiimwe, C., & Mwase, P. (2022, June 28). A Baseline Survey for Drugs and Substance Abuse (DASA) in Primary and Secondary Schools in Uganda. African Journal of Education,Science and Technology, 7(1), Pg 156-183. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.2022/ajest.v7i1.765