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Substance use and related harms among young people in the Solomon Islands

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.

Substance use issues are especially concerning on the Solomon Islands 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.

Completed, with further publications in development.

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.
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Professor Paul Dietze

Please contact Professor Paul Dietze for more information about this project.



  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Partners +

  • Save the Children Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australian Government)