South African Drug and Alcohol Statistics

We Do Recover

South Africa is a country burdened by drug and alcohol abuse, but many people don’t know how severe the problem really is.
Here are some statistics taken from a survey done from June 2010 – March 2011 by the Central Drug Authority (CDA) of South Africa to illustrate to you the harmful effects that drugs and alcohol have on our rainbow nation.

  • Research found that substance abuse in South Africa is double than that of the global average and we are also ranked in the top 10 countries with regards to the amount of alcohol being consumed each year.
  • The use of dagga, cocaine and tik is also used twice as much in South Africa compared to other countries worldwide.
  • The CDA estimates that there are around two million people in SA that can be classified as ‘problem drinkers’.
  • The social and economic costs that alcohol abuse has risen to an estimated R130 billion per annum.
  • The CDA estimates that around 7000 people die each year due to drunken driving.
  • They have also found that the youth have become addicted to drugs and alcohol at the tender age of 12!
  • Drug dealers in South Africa have now targeted schools as a hotspot to do business, disguising drugs in tattoos, lip balms and even lollipops. In fact, the CDA interviewed former drug dealers, who told them that per day, they are able to make R18 000 while an addict may spend an average of R5000 each day.
  • The CDA also found that substance abuse was different between men and women, in fact, in females, addiction occurred faster than that in males.
  • They estimated that women that were addicted to drugs were 46% more likely to be victims of rape, physical abuse and incest.

An article on the Times Live website also provided more shocking South African drug and alcohol statistics, courtesy of CDA Acting Chairman Dr Ray Eberlein:

  • It is estimated that the average South African will drink approximately 20.1 litres of alcohol each year, which is equivalent to 196 six packs of beer, 62 bottles of spirits and 220 bottles of wine!
  • Dr Eberlein also stated that around 37% of South African citizens drink from early Friday afternoon right up to Monday morning, staying drunk all weekend.

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) drug related crimes rose from 150 673 incidents in 2011 to 176 307 in 2012.
SAPS also state that incidents involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs increased from 66 697 cases in 2011 to 69 441 cases in 2012.

The fact that these statistics are increasing each year is alarming. While it may be easy to play the blame game to whose fault it is, the responsibility lies with each and every one of us living in South Africa to help kick start a change.

If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs or you know someone who is, then it’s important to get help for them sooner rather than later. We provide access to the best private drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres all over South Africa. Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors find the best treatment available for you or a loved one.

Central Drug Authority CDA –
Parliamentary Monitoring Group –
The Times Live –
The South African Police Service –

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