n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The effects of alcohol and drugs on student academic life

Volume 30 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This article summarises what is known from a large-scale survey study undertaken for a Masters dissertation about prevalence and trends in alcohol and drug use among the University students in recent years. The major focus of this article is on alcohol and drug use among students attending from year one to year four at the Pretoria West Campus. For purposes of simplification, part-time students were excluded. Many part-time students have jobs, families and other activities that make the experience of being a student quite different than that of the full-time student whose primary identification is ‘student.’ A descriptive design was used, utilising both quantitative and qualitative research methods. A total of 60 students participated in this study and the research was done at the residences of the Pretoria West Campus of Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. A random cluster sampling procedure was utilised to select potential respondents. This approach turned out to be a cost effective way to generate a high response rate and a large, representative sample. The Pretoria West Campus of Tshwane University of Technology has seven residences, which accommodate a large number of students from all over the continent. Some of the residents are only for women, and some are for both genders. The results showed that alcohol and drug use rates are high among the students. The survey instrument, an extension of the original interview schedule, includes, in addition to assessments of alcohol and drug use, assessments of violence, harassment, assault issues and policy awareness and enforcement issues. The study provides with possible recommendations, on how the university management should pay special attention to the causative factors and elements associated with insecurity in the residences, especially the phenomenon of illegal drug and alcohol abuse in residences.

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