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Prevalence of Substance Use and Associated Factors among Police Officers in Dar-Es-Salaam

Harrieth Peter Ndumwa

Substance use among Police Officers has been a concern to many professionals in the field of research and criminal justice since their work is subjected to higher levels of stress and trauma compared to the general population. Despite being aware of the nature of their works, some of the Police Officers are unaware of the mental health problems that may arise from frequent exposure to traumatic and violent events. The higher frequency of exposure to stressful events at work may result in increased prevalence of substance use as one of the coping mechanisms. Several factors have been found to be associated with substance use among Police Officers ranging from socio-demographic factors, job stressors, operational stressors, organizational stressors, rank and duration at work as well as social support. Poor health seeking behaviours and lack of professional treatment with regards to these issues, can negatively impact the productivity at work and raise mental health concerns amongst Police Officers.