dagga 'the scourge of sa'
South Africans are more likely to cause injuries to themselves and others, commit crimes, miss work and engage in risky sexual behaviour because of alcohol and drug use.
This was said by Deputy Minister of Social Development Jean Swanson-Jacobs at the commemoration of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at Chris Hani Stadium in Orange Farm, Vaal, yesterday.
"Global statistics show that South Africans are much more likely than any other country's citizens to cause injury or death to themselves and to others when intoxicated.
"In a World Health Organisation study last year on the relationship between alcohol and injuries conducted among people admitted to emergency rooms of 12 medical centres in 12 countries, South Africa had the highest number of injury cases where alcohol was consumed in the six hours before admittance," Swanson-Jacobs said.
She said dagga and alcohol were the most widely used substances. "Estimates are that 2,2 million people use dagga. In the second category is cocaine, heroin, speed, LSD, hashish, Ecstasy and tik," she said.
Swanson-Jacobs said the most effective way of combating drug abuse involved reducing the supply of drugs through law enforcement.