A Profile of Substance Abuse Clients Admitted to an In-Patient Treatment Centre in Tshwane, South Africa

Author(s): Kebogile Mokwena*, Funzani Shandukani and Lucy Fernandes


Background: Substance abuse is a serious public health problem in South Africa, and due to the dearth of community based studies on the patterns
and types of substances of abuse, studies are often conducted at substance abuse rehabilitation centres, as with this study.

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the patterns of substance used by adults admitted to a Substance Treatment Centre in Tshwane, as well as to investigate the reasons and influences for substance abuse.

Methodology: Using a self-administered questionnaire, a cross sectional quantitative and descriptive survey, was used to collect data among 215 substance users admitted to an in-patient treatment centre in Pretoria. STATA version 12 was used to analyze data.

Results: the sample of 215 consisted of majority males (80.4%, n=173), with their ages ranging from 18 and 65 and a mean of 27 years. Most commonly used substances were Nyaope (65.6%) and marijuana (29.3%). Reasons for drug use included peer pressure (54.9%), stress (26.5%) and family problems (16.3%).

Conclusion: The reasons for substance use were mostly related to the unfavorable social environment, and the high prevalence of nyaope reflects the communities from which the participants come from.

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