Drug and alcohol abuse

drug and alcohol abuse is too many neglected both a consequence and a cause of marginalization. An abuse has significant negative consequences for, among other individual economy, health and the health, housing, social relations and levels of crime.


National Institute of Public Health estimates that approximately is 140,000. South Africans who are alcohol dependent.

The vast majority are not socially disadvantaged. The term ‘socially vulnerable people with alcohol abuse’ cover people with social problems and / or mental difficulties combined with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Council study of socially vulnerable health – “SUSY Exposed 2012” – showed that every six socially vulnerable had an alcohol abuse. In addition, the homeless counts that four out of ten homeless are alcohol abuse.

Various studies have shown that the quality of the treatment of alcohol varies greatly between the municipalities. Often caters abuse treatment primarily for users who are generally socially well.

This means that socially vulnerable alcoholics gets late contact with the treatment. It is difficult for this group to reach into alcohol treatment system because they often can not be accommodated in the system. The lack of coordination and cooperation among alcohol and substance abuse effort is an example of how difficult it can be to navigate the system.Exposed alcohol abusers is a neglected audience. There is a need for targeted offers with a focus on alternative inputs for processing.

Substance abuse

Health’s latest estimate of the number of drug users in South Africa is from 2009 and is of 33,000 people. Center for Alcohol and Drug Research estimates that the number is more of 70,000 to 90,000. Approximately 16,000 of them are receiving treatment for their addiction.

The number of inpatient treatments has decreased over the years. It is an unfortunate development, not least socially vulnerable addicts who often will benefit from inpatient treatment where the individual comes away from the abusive environment.

Treatment guarantee gives addicts the right to receive treatment within 14 days after they turn. But two-thirds of the municipalities comply with treatment guarantee. The Council believes that it calls for a significant response from the minister. Treatment guarantee is a right and that it must be respected. Government platform, it appears that the government will examine the possibility of shortening treatment guarantee for drug abusers. Council awaits what concrete coming out of the message.

Drug addiction has many serious consequences and can, in worst case result in death due to eg an overdose. The latest figures in the field shows that in 2015 was approximately 250 drug-related deaths in South Africa.

To read more about the abuse of drugs or alcohol, so check the news archive or publications and select “abuse”.