The use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances - such as betel nut and marijuana - are ongoing issues affecting the general population and the health, social support/welfare and law enforcement sectors of the Solomon Islands. These issues are especially concerning given the country’s large youth population.
A high prevalence of gender-based violence is also a significant problem, and previous research has suggested a link between such behaviour and alcohol use in particular. Prevention, education and harm reduction initiatives can alleviate the personal, familial and wider societal costs associated with alcohol and other substance use, including gender-based violence; however, such initiatives need to be evidence-based and relevant to local contexts.
To this end, only limited research has examined alcohol and other substance use and associated issues among the general population in Solomon Islands, and among young people more specifically. Our 2015 study sought to address these gaps to inform the development of a program designed to address problematic substance use and related personal and interpersonal consequences in Solomon Islands, with a focus on gender-based violence.
The research project incorporated a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach between the Burnet Institute and Save the Children. In developing the study design, input was sought from relevant stakeholders throughout the Solomon Islands during September 2015.
Specifically, the study involved two key components:
the collection of quantitative data via a structured survey administered to 400 young people (aged 15-24 years) in four provinces of the Solomon Islands
the collection of qualitative data via focus group discussions with key stakeholders and target population members.
To date, one report and one peer-reviewed journal article have been published using the study’s findings, with more in development.
Completed, with further publications in development.