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Perspectives of Frontline Professionals on Palestinian Children Living with Sibling and Parental Drug Use in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

Afifi, M and Abushams, L and El-Sakka, M and Shehada, M and Afifi, R and Alloush, M and Rabee, A and Kewley, S and Quigg, Z and Whitfield, M and McVeigh, J and Wazaify, M and Van Hout, M (2019) Perspectives of Frontline Professionals on Palestinian Children Living with Sibling and Parental Drug Use in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. ISSN 1557-1874

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Abstract

The Occupied Territories of Palestine (OtP) consists of the non-contiguous West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Political and economic tensions and its dense populations compounds the impact of drug abuse and addiction in the home. A qualitative study using four focus groups (n=42) was conducted in West Bank and Gaza Strip explored the experiences of professionals working with Palestinian families and children affected by substance use and addiction in the home. Data were analysed using thematic analysis (TA), and four themes emerged. These were ‘The rising and shifting problem of drug use in Palestine’; ‘Psychosocial causal factors of drug use in Palestine’; ‘The consequences for children and families living with drug use’; and ‘Potential solutions to the problem are complex and multi-faceted.’ The study paints a concerning picture of how drug abuse impacts on Palestinian families subjected to multiple pressures, stigmas, risks and harms relating to their situation.

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