Extent and Influence of Recreational Drug Use on Men and Women Aged 15 Years and Older in South Africa

  • P Njuho
  • A Davids


Illicit drug use negatively affects development of human and physical capital of any nation. Huge financial resources are allocated to prevent and curb illicit drug use. The use of these drugs continue to spread across race and age groups, despite application of various control measures. The information provided in this paper contributes towards understanding the extent and influence of illicit drugs use in South Africa. A population-based national HIV prevalence, behaviour and health survey conducted in 2008, incorporated questions on the extent and use of illicit drugs. A multistage random population sample of 15 845 persons aged 15 years or older (58% women and 42% men) was included in the survey. The use of combined illicit drugs excluding cannabis was reported by 1.7% of the 13 119 participants, and including cannabis by 4.3 % of the 13 128 participants. The Coloured men (14.3%) were the most likely to use cannabis, where as the Indian women (0.6%) were the least likely. The urban residents (5.4%) were more likely to report use of any illicit drug including cannabis than rural dwellers (2.5%). Illicit drug use has a high association with illnesses thus call for interventions to address this serious problem. Key Words: Recreational drug use, South Africa, illicit drug use, HIV prevalence survey

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eISSN: 1531-4065
print ISSN: 1531-4065