n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Unemployment and unfavourable social environment as contributory factors to use in three provinces of South Africa : substance abuse

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


South Africa has seen an increase in the prevalence of drug use, including novel psychoactive substances (NPSs), among which is , that is widely used among young Black people in various townships. Poverty has been reported to be a significant contributory factor to drug abuse, and the vulnerability increases if there are additional factors like easy access to drugs. A qualitative study on the experiences of users suggested the possibility of poverty as a contributory factor in impoverished communities. The data were collected in various areas of Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga provinces, among a sample of 108 users. The majority were single and male, with ages ranging from 18 and 36, with a mean of 25.3 years. The mean age of first drug use was 14.8 years and cannabis was the first drug used (51%), with 11% reporting as the first drug used. A massive 84% (n=91) were unemployed, and the majority (76%) were never admitted for drug rehabilitation. The combination of easy access to both cannabis and , and the high unemployment rates seem to be contributing to use in these communities.

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