Epidemiology of substance use and abuse in South Africa

SOURCE: Substance use and abuse in South-Africa: insights from brain and behavioural sciences
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Ramlagan, K.Peltzer
SOURCE EDITOR(S): G.F.R.Ellis, D.J.Stein, K.G.F.Thomas, E.M.Meintjes
KEYWORDS: EPIDEMIOLOGY, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, SUBSTANCE USE
DEPARTMENT: Social Aspects of Public Health (SAPH)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7097

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

At the end of the apartheid era, research relating to the nature and extent of use of drugs other than alcohol and tobacco among the general adult population in South Africa was virtually nonexistent. President Nelson Mandela, in his 1994 opening of parliament signalled alcohol and drug abuse as a problem among the social pathologies that needed to be combated. An unacceptable increase in substance abuse has been noted since 1999. This problem has been identified by the National Drug Master Plan as fuelling crime, poverty, reduced productivity, unemployment, dysfunctional family life, political instability, the escalation of chronic diseases such as AIDS and TB, injury and premature death. Its spheres of influence reaches across social, racial, cultural, language, religious and gender barriers, and directly or indirectly affects all South Africans.