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Drug and Substance Use/Abuse Among Street Children in an urban Setting in the Philippines: A Qualitative Study

In the hazy corners of the metropolis, amidst the reckless armies of students and workers constantly chasing their own fortunes, in the endless raging of engines and machines, in the forbidding eye of the street merchants, the children of the streets in the early episodes of their lives mightily survive and confront their bleak destinies. For the urban citizens, children occupying the major streets of the metropolis engaged in substance use and abuse had become a familiar sight. Sensing the urgency of this situation, scholars and concerned agencies seek a scientific explanation of this phenomenon. This study was designed to understanding of the life-ways of the street children and the interplay of their life-ways to the use/abuse of drugs and substances. The research investigates the factors that led the children to the world of the street, describe the features of their street life and probe interconnections between their street living and their use/abuse of substances and drugs. The study was guided by a relatively new paradigm popularly known as the social exclusion theory. This new orientation allowed the study to abandon previous theoretical discourses that seeks to explain social imbalances brought about mainly by income and material polarity and reveals the multiple deprivation experienced by the street children.


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