Patterns and Prevalence of Alcohol Use among University of Utopia Students in South Africa
Substance use – alcohol in particular, is common amongst secondary school learners in the area surrounding the researched university in South Africa. This phenomenon has also been observed as occurring in the university under study (University of Utopia). The researchers became aware of alcohol use amongst students especially after events such as the ‘Freshers’ ball’, Mr. and Mrs. University of Utopia functions, festivals and other events where first year students are welcomed at the university. We were thus motivated to undertake this study on the patterns and prevalence of alcohol use amongst second year university students. A descriptive study utilising a self-reporting questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) was carried out. A total sample of 120 Education second year students (59 females and 61 males) was randomly selected. The questionnaire addressed the following issues: information on life experience, current and past use of substances like tobacco and alcohol as well as illicit drugs such as marijuana or cannabis (called dagga in South Africa), inhalants, heroin, amphetamines, sedatives, d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and cocaine. The study found that the prevalence of the use of alcohol and other substances among university students was high and that males had a higher prevalence rate than females. The study concludes by indicating that recognising early symptoms of alcohol dependence may assist in the early identification and intervention for those at risk of heavier drinking in the future.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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