Social workers' perspectives on barriers to substance abuse treatment for women in Limpopo province

Baloyi, Dzunisani Eugenia (2021-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The prevalence rate of substance abuse is escalating in women and little is known about their access to the available treatment services. Previous studies on barriers faced by women in accessing substance abuse treatment did not explore the perspectives of social workers, who are experts in helping women with substance abuse problems, but rather focused on service users. Therefore, the goal of this study was to explore the perspectives of social workers coordinating substance abuse programmes regarding the barriers women face in accessing treatment for substance abuse. The nature of the study is qualitative. An exploratory and descriptive research designs were adopted in the study. The findings of the study were derived from an empirical investigation conducted with 20 social workers employed by the Department of Social Development in Limpopo province. Data were collected from the participants through telephonic interviews using a semi-structured interview guide, and thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings of the study show that social workers observe a lot of women in local communities who are abusing substances, but they are not seeking help. The findings also reveal that women encounter different types of barriers when seeking treatment services for substance abuse. Internal barriers, such as a lack of motivation to change their behaviour and denial were identified, while external barriers such as a shortage of treatment facilities were also found. It was also found that the available treatment facilities and outpatient treatment services are not accessible to people, who live far from the centralised treatment facilities. These barriers contribute to women not receiving treatment and not seeking help. In order to eliminate these barriers, there is a serious need for additional treatment, whether these be inpatient or outpatient treatment services, to cater for the needs of women, including childcare. Furthermore, the study recommends that government must relook at legislation and policies on substance abuse services in order to address substance abuse problems for women, instead of the current primary focus on men. It is anticipated that the findings of this study will contribute to an understanding of barriers that women are facing in accessing substance abuse treatment. The study will also help in developing strategies to address factors to consider when admitting women to a treatment facility, such as their fear of leaving their children and family behind, which could hinder their decision to initiate treatment. Thus, the study advocates for the establishment of treatment centres for women and the development of treatment services that will minimise the barriers that women face in accessing substance abuse treatment centres. Lastly, the study will assist those in social work practice and other professionals in the field of substance abuse to enhance service delivery to women.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die voorkomssyfer van middelmisbruik onder vroue neem toe en daar is min bekend oor vroue se toegang tot die beskikbare behandelingsdienste. Vorige studies oor die struikelblokke vir vroue ten opsigte van toegang tot behandeling vir middelmisbruik het nie die perspektief van maatskaplike werkers met kennis oor hulpverlening aan vroue met middelmisbruikprobleme verken nie, maar het eerder op die diensgebruikers gefokus. Die doel van hierdie studie was dus om die perspektief van maatskaplike werkers, wat middelmisbruikprogramme koördineer, op die struikelblokke vir vroue ten opsigte van toegang tot behandeling vir middelmisbruik te verken. Die studie is van kwalitatiewe aard en ʼn verkennende en beskrywende navorsingsontwerpe is aangewend. Die bevindings van die studie is gegrond op ʼn empiriese ondersoek onder 20 maatskaplike werkers in diens van die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling in die Limpopo-provinsie. Data is ingesamel met behulp van ʼn semigestruktureerde onderhoudshandleiding om telefoniese onderhoude met deelnemers te voer, en data is met behulp van tematiese inhoudsontleding ontleed. Die bevindings van die studie toon dat maatskaplike werkers baie vroue wat middels misbruik in plaaslike gemeenskappe waarneem, maar dat hierdie vroue nie hulp soek nie. Die bevindings toon ook dat vroue verskillende soorte struikelblokke teëkom wanneer hulle van behandelingsdienste vir middelmisbruik gebruik wil maak. Interne struikelblokke, soos ʼn gebrek aan motivering om te verander en ontkenning, is geïdentifiseer. Daar is ook eksterne struikelblokke, soos ʼn tekort aan behandelingsgeriewe, geïdentifiseer. Daar is bevind dat beskikbare behandelingsgeriewe en buitepasiëntbehandelingsdienste nie vir diegene wat ver van die behandelingsgeriewe woon, toeganklik is nie, omdat hierdie geriewe gesentraliseerd is. Hierdie struikelblokke dra daartoe by dat vroue nie behandeling ontvang en nie hulp soek nie. Daar is ʼn ernstige behoefte aan bykomende behandelingsgeriewe (binnepasiënt- of buitepasiëntbehandelingsdienste) wat aan die behoeftes van vroue, soos kindersorg, voldoen. Voorts beveel die studie aan dat die regering wetgewing en beleid vir middelmisbruikdienste hersien, om die middelmisbruikprobleme van vroue op te los, in plaas van die huidige primêre fokus op mans. Daar word voorsien dat die bevindings van die studie tot begrip van die struikelblokke vir vroue ten opsigte van toegang tot behandeling vir middelmisbruik sal bydra. Die studie sal ook help met die ontwikkeling van strategieë vir die faktore wat oorweeg moet word wanneer vroue in ʼn behandelingsinstelling opgeneem moet word, soos die vrees om hulle kinders en gesinne te moet agterlaat, wat hulle besluit om met behandeling te begin, kan belemmer. Die studie bepleit die vestiging van behandelingsentrums vir vroue en die ontwikkeling van behandelingsdienste wat die struikelblokke vir vroue ten opsigte van toegang tot middelmisbruikbehandelingsentrums tot die minimum sal beperk. Die studie kan ook maatskaplikewerkspraktyk verbeter en ander beroepslui op die gebied van middelmisbruik help om dienslewering aan vroue te verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/123740
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