Assessing personality risks using the Surps for alcohol and other drug problems in Cape Town, South Africa

  • Blake Hendrickson
Keywords: SURPS, personality, substance use disorders (SUD), South Africa


Four personality traits are recognized risk factors for alcohol and drug-related problems: hopelessness, anxiety sensitivity, sensation seeking, and impulsivity. In this crosssectional study, the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) was applied to measure these traits and assess the questionnaire’s reliability from a community sample in Cape Town, South Africa (n=1000). Results indicate that hopelessness is significantly associated with high-risk use of mandrax, inhalants, and opioids. However, unlike results from other settings that suggested utility for the SURPS, this study did not demonstrate strong internal reliability or associations between all personality traits and risky substance use. This provides evidence against it being an appropriate assessment tool in a diverse South African population.

Keywords: SURPS; personality; substance use disorders (SUD); South Africa


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1531-4065
print ISSN: 1531-4065