Against the background that crystal methamphetamine (colloquially known as “tik”) is extensively used by the emerging working class Coloured youth in Cape Town, South Africa, this exploratory qualitative study was conducted to explore the experience of mothers whose children use methamphetamine.
The researchers conducted one-to-one semi-structured in-depth interviews with sixteen (16) purposively selected caregivers (mothers) whose sons use methamphetamine. Interviews were recorded and simultaneously translated and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes related to the experiences of caregivers of youth with methamphetamine problems.
Findings showed that youth misbehaviour provided a context that led to feelings of shame and embarrassment. Participants also experienced personal challenges which included emotional problems, fear and self-blame. Participants also expressed family disruptions and financial drain as adverse experiences as a results of their sons’ misbehaviour.
The study results highlight the psychosocial challenges for caregivers of children who use methamphetamine. These findings underscore the need for effort to be directed at the development of formal support interventions for mothers of youth who are troubled with addiction.