Using sport as an intervention for substance abuse reduction among adolescents and young adults in three selected communities in South Africa: an exploratory study

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
TITLE AUTHOR(S): P.Naidoo, J.Mangoma-Chaurura, G.Khan, B.Canham, N.Malope-Rwodzi, F.Subklew-Sehume, R.Mashigo
DEPARTMENT: Research Use and Impact Assessment (RIA), Research Use and Impact Assessment (PRESS), Research Use and Impact Assessment (CC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9472

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The global prevalence of substance abuse among youth and young adults is attributed to nearly a tenth (9.8%) of the global burden of disease for young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years. In South Africa, 23% to 41% of individuals below the age of 20 years were admitted into substance abuse treatment centres during 2013 and is a major concern due to the negative impact on the adolescents' school performance, peer group relationships, family engagement and other aspects of an adolescents' life that are pertinent to their development stage. Out of the nine (9) provinces in SA, loveLife identified three (3) communities, which required intervention, namely Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), Northern Cape and Gauteng where the prevalence of drug abuse is fairly high among young individuals.The results of the study, albeit an exploratory one, shows promise in implementing a sport and life-skills intervention package to reduce substance use and abuse. It is recommended that the local authorities negotiate with the Departments of Sport and Recreation, and Social Development for the installation of skateboarding facilities in underserved communities. Additionally, it is recommended that a private partnership is entered into with loveLife to provide skateboards to young individuals in the affected communities who will benefit from taking up the sport to facilitate the reduction in substance abuse.