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Deriving from the Month of Youth Against AIDS (MYAA), which is commemorated in Botswana during the month of March, BOSASNet focuses on youth this month; therefore the topic for this week is "Young Couples and Substance Abuse".
Some of the young couples that have come for assistance at BOSASNet report substance abuse as one of the causes of problems in their relationships. When substances are present in young couples’ lives, it is bound to end up being a distressful situation due to the fact that the new couples are battling to settle and start a new life as a family. The obligation to bring up children in environments that are not conducive and to live up to the society’s expectation may spell impending disaster due to substance abuse.
What do young couples report as misunderstandings caused by substance abuse?
"But you knew I was using before we met": This is a scenario where one of the two was on drugs when they met and the sober one is now complaining. The sober one might in some instances, out of boredom, join in the substance abuse.
"I do not feel you, I do not see you, so I find my own way": A spouse has been replaced by substance abuse and feels neglected. The neglected partner finds solace in an outside external relationship.
"We have lost it all": Substance abuse has robbed the young family of their house with mortgage debts; unpaid utilities, no school fees for children and lost jobs due to constant absenteeism from work.
Birth defects: Substance abuse replaces healthy babies of a young couple with pre-mature, unhealthy, disabled babies who will grow up demanding heavily through high medical expenses. All this from a young couple that has just started a journey of life together.
In conclusion, substance abuse often leads to fights among the couples, ending up in family breakages or divorce. Young couples are most vulnerable because they are still new in the field of marriage and have a huge future ahead of them to nurture.
If you think you and anyone you know, may have challenges with substances, please contact BOSASNet to speak to a counsellor at 72659891, 3959119/3913490, Fax 3951333 or like our face book page. BOSASNet services are professional and strictly confidential.

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