PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

South African Medical Journal

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register



An epidemiological perspective of substance use among high school pupils in rural KwaZulu-Natal

M Taylor, C.C. Jinabhai, K Naidoo, I Kleinschmidt, S.B. Dlamini

Abstract


Objectives. To investigate prevalence and the factors influencing substance use among rural high school pupils in KwaZulu-Natal in order to develop and implement intervention programmes.
Design. Cross-sectional study.
Setting. Twenty-eight high schools in southern KwaZulu-Natal.
Subjects. One thousand three hundred and eighteen grade 10 pupils.
Outcome measures. An anonymous self-reporting questionnaire was used to investigate the use of alcohol, tobacco (cigarettes), cannabis and solvents.
Results. Of the male scholars, 52.9% (95% confidence interval (CI): 45.4- 60.3) reported ever using alcohol, 16.9% (CI: 11.5 - 24.0) reported using cannabis, and 13.1% (CI: 7.2 - 22.5) had smoked more than one cigarette daily. Among male pupils 45.5% (CI: 38.6- 52.6) had inhaled benzine and 34.6% (CI: 28.0- 41.8), thinners; 7.4% (CI: 3.4 - 15.2) had used cocaine and 4.1% (CI: 1.0 - 10.6), crack. Female pupils reported significantly less use of alcohol (25.5%, CI: 17.6 - 35.3), cannabis (2.3%, CI: 1.3 - 4.1), cigarettes (more than one daily) (2.0%, CI: 1.0 - 4.1), and inhalation of benzine (18.8%, CI: 13.8 - 25.2) and thinners (10.8%, CI: 7.2 - 16). Logistical regression indicated that the odds of smoking cigarettes increased significantly (p < 0.0005) with use of the other substances.
Conclusion. The results of this study confirm the prevalence of multi-substance use among pupils at the majority of rural high schools in this district and the need for targeted interventions to reduce/prevent this.



AJOL African Journals Online