Chapter 5: Patterns of substance use and its predictors among North-West University students Mafikeng Campus by Godswill N. Osuafor, Sonto M. Maputle & Natal Ayiga


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.