The pervasiveness of the use of alcohol, tobacco, -cannabis and other psychoactive substances remains a major concern among young people globally. Nearly 25% of the total death toll among people aged 25-39 years were related to alcohol use in 2014 (WHO, 2015). This percentage is higher than that of the global alcohol related deaths which is recorded as 7.6% and 4.0% for men
and women respectively. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (2015) reported about 187,100 drug—related deaths in 2013. Of a particular importance, the report indicated that cannabis use disorder is more dominant in several regions of the world.
In the Sub-Saharan African context, South Africa has a historic pattern of hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption which stems from the apartheid era. For example, the South African Youth Flisk Behaviour Survey of 2002, indicates that 16% of the young participants commenced drinking of alcohol before the age of 13 years (Raddy et al., 2003). Further evidence suggests that 31.8% alcohol use and 23% binge drinking was recorded among people aged 14-18 years (Fleddy
et al., 2003) . However, cases of binge drinking escalated from 23% in 2002 to 28.5% in 2008 (YRBS, 2010). Peltzer and Ramlgan (2009) review of five national and local surveys on the prevalence of alcohol use revealed that life time, current use and binge drinking remained constant for both adolescent and adult addicts for a period of 12 years. Given that alcohol and drug use are major causes of early death and disability among young people, substance use in South African is a demographic concern.

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