Third of Cape pupils smoke, drink - survey

2013-04-22 21:56

Cape Town - At least a third of Western Cape high school pupils are using tobacco, alcohol, and dagga, a provincial social department survey revealed on Monday.

The year-long study found that around 40%of pupils in Grades eight to 10 smoked cigarettes, 35% drank alcohol, and 35% smoked dagga.

The findings formed part of a survey of around 20 000 pupils at 240 schools by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

The provincial government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime commissioned the research to get "reliable information on the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use, mental health problems, and risky behaviours", to guide appropriate interventions.

The research revealed that 66% of pupils had consumed alcohol at least once in their lifetime.

Around 37% of pupils surveyed started using tobacco before the age of 13. Twenty-eight percent of pupils started drinking before this age and 13.7% started smoking dagga before they were 13-years-old.

Regarding risky behaviour among the sexually active, three out of five pupils admitted to having unprotected sex.

A quarter admitted to having sex after alcohol or drugs, and a fifth to having multiple partners.

Many had witnessed a criminal act within 12 months of being surveyed.

Around 60 percent of pupils reported having seen someone using drugs or someone being beaten.

Just under half had witnessed drugs being sold. Forty percent of pupils had witnessed someone being stabbed.

The survey found that the risk of mental health problems was high, particularly among female pupils.

The MRC suggested that more recreational services were needed, if the link between substance use, other problem behaviour, and leisure-time boredom was considered.

Government was also encouraged to promote the training of school teachers and counsellors on the early identification of drug use.

  • Mfaniseni Thusi - 2013-04-22 22:25

    This can't be true Western Cape is the most progressive province wrong statistics. DA where are you?

      megala arxithia - 2013-04-23 05:51

      Oh now you want the DA to sort this out!!! Education is a function of the National government moreso than a provincial one. No wonder this country is so messed have the parents of tomorrow all drugged up!! This country is on the road to nowhere and one step away from hell and anyone who thinks that articles like the one above is normal must have rocks in their heads. This country is doomed to fail and it will what with stats like this!!

      Christopher Booise - 2013-04-23 08:17

      Not where's the DA, where's the parents??

      Thando Gqabaza - 2013-04-23 08:53

      Still , another slap in the face for those w. cape bigots who think that their city is the best thing in the world

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2013-04-22 22:36

    Could we please have the statistics for all of the provinces, or was the Western Cape singled out for a reason?

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-22 23:29

      The Western Cape is always singled out, and always for the same reason.

  • Tlotlo Phele - 2013-04-22 22:44

    I always suspected that most comments on this very platform come from drunkards and junkies

      megala arxithia - 2013-04-23 05:53

      And people like you who wear blinkers (and dark tinted sunglasses) and who somehow think the ANC is the saviour of this country. You should wake up to the reality that this country has failed miserable in many aspects thanks largely to a government that is weak, corrupt, immoral and useless.

      Tlotlo Phele - 2013-04-23 11:36

      Megala did I say I'm an ANC supporter ? Blah blah , @ me , looks like u need to come out of that cave of ignorance

  • Sean Potgieter - 2013-04-22 22:50

    How the youth have fallen....

  • Monique Naude - 2013-04-23 00:16

    Well, if education is not a non-essential service, and teachers are allowed to strike, then I'm not surprised. They get lousy salaries anyway, deal with some children who just don't have any respect or discipline, parents who either work themselves to death, or are just lazy gits, and they don't have the correct support systems to deal with this problem (everywhere in the country) I'm sure if they included statistics, and statistics for the whole country, we would all fall off our chairs and knock ourselves out. How is the delivery of the Limpopo text books going by the way? I'm sure many students would like to have their own books already.

  • Nkululeko S. Ndebele - 2013-04-23 00:17

    And yet they still manage to have the country's highest matric pass rate...

      UPzille DA - 2013-04-23 02:16

      Even though i hate it,it is Gauteng 4 2 following years dear!!!

      Silenta Solly - 2013-04-23 08:17

      Nkululeko why must you lie like that?

  • TonyM - 2013-04-23 06:26

    Spare the rid and you spoil the child. Give spanking power to the school authorities and parents and everything will fall into place. Same with death penalty, bring it back and all killers will cow into their slouch.

  • Stephen van Eyssen - 2013-04-23 06:33

    I would prefer these stats to be split in residential areas. One will then be able to focus on the problem areas. This problem of our youth is a serious one. And I don't care what your politics are but we as adults are letting our youth down. Finger-pointing will not solve the problem. We need to get involve at all levels of the socio-economic life of these youngsters to help them to cope with the challenges they are facing. And I am sure that the same kind of problem is to be found across our country - it does not carry a political number plate - we are all liable for this sad situation our youth find themselves trapped in.

  • Emanuel Ferreira - 2013-04-23 06:54

    I rarely comment on these stories but surely the parents should be accountable for some of this juvenile behaviour? Educators get treated so poorly and paid such meager wages, why should they care about the degenerate youth who are probably already so far gone psychologically. We need to control global breeding. Irresponsible drunkards, junkies and abusers should be denied the privilege of parenthood and all couples wanting to conceive should be assessed psychologically, financially and physically.

  • Neil Ross - 2013-04-23 09:39

    Only a third? Looks like the kids are much better behaved than when I was there at school.

  • Nazley Jackson - 2013-04-23 10:47

    So true this Morning i saw School children smoke a pipe they dont have not Respect today,what is happening to the future generation?

  • Doves Cry - 2013-06-26 10:39

    The dagga % may have changed but as far as alcohol and cigarettes, those percentages have applied for the last 40 years. Dagga is far more freely available nowdays and can be bought at many petrol stations. Another difference is our pathetic police force only break rules, not enforce them.

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