Drug and Alcohol Addiction Statistics in South Africa

Alcohol Statistics

  • Alcohol is the primary drug of abuse in SA.
  • It’s responsible for nearly half of all motor accidents.
  • Over 30% of our population have an alcohol problem or are at risk of having one.
  • Alcohol affects 17.5 million South Africans.
  • Studies show that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics.
  • 10 million of South Africans who consume alcohol drank the equivalent of 196 six-packs of beer or 62 bottles of spirits which is about 20.1 litres of pure alcohol each person per year.
  • SA has an estimated 182 000 illegal shebeens.
  • 122 out of every 1000 Grade 1 pupils in the Northern Cape town of De Aar have foetal alcohol syndrome – the highest incidence of the syndrome in one population anywhere in the world.
  • In 2008 SANCA reported an increase in 19-20 year old alcoholics. (Cathy De vos, SANCA)
  • 18-22 years olds are the group of heaviest alcohol abuse. (The Lancet medical journal, 2009)
  • 35% of High schools kids are problem drinkers who drink at least 9 units spirits, 1 liter wine or 2 liters of beer. (Rapport, 11.05.2008)
  • According to research done in May 2008, 20% of 14 year old boys and nearly half of 17 year old boys drank in the previous month. Girls was a bit lower with 18% of 14 year olds and 35% of 17 year olds in the same period. (CDA)

Drug Statistics

  • Drug consumption in South Africa is twice the world norm (CDA-2009)
  • 15% of South Africa’s population have a drug problem (CDA).
  • Drug abuse is costing South Africa R20-billion a year and could pose a bigger threat to the country’s future than the Aids pandemic.
  • According to SAPS figures, 60 percent of crimes nationally were related to substance abuse. In the Western Cape, the figure was closer to 80 percent. The perpetrators of these crimes are either under the influence of substances, or trying to secure money for their next fix.
  • In 2004, government disbanded the SA Narcotics Bureau (SANAB), a dedicated drug-fighting unit within the SAPS that had achieved some notable successes. Since its closure, drug-related crimes have increased exponentially – in fact by 30 percent.
  • The recently-released United Nations World Drug Report had named South Africa as one of the drug capitals of the world.
  • The abuse of alcohol and usage of dagga has lead to the country to being one of the top ten narcotics and alcohol abusers in the world.
  • One Rand in four in circulation in SA is linked to the substance abuse problem – 2009 (CDA-Bayever)