Exploring perceived reasons and risk factors for illicit drug use among youth in the Western Cape: implications for primary prevention
Rich, Edna Grace
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Globally, drug abuse among youth is recognised as one of our greatest health and social problems and, as in other countries, South Africa is battling with this phenomenon. Drug abuse among youth (including children and adolescents) is on the increase, and a National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, conducted at High Schools in South Africa, reveals that overall, almost 50% of grade 8-11 learners had used alcohol, and 13% had indulged in cannabis use in their lifetime. Drug abuse at an early age has been associated with various problems, such as risky sexual behaviours, health problems, depression, crime, and ultimately drug addiction, which often occur at a later age. A better understanding of the perceived reasons and the risk factors that influence adolescent drug use is crucial for the development of effective prevention strategies.