Research

The state of methamphetamine (‘tik’) use among youth in the Western Cape, South Africa

E H Weybright, L L Caldwell, L Wegner, E Smith, J J Jacobs

Abstract


Background. Methamphetamine use among youth in the Western Cape Province of South Africa has increased at alarming rates over the past decade. Although current estimates of youth use exist, they range from 2 - 12%.

Objectives. To identify (i) the prevalence of methamphetamine use in Western Cape youth and (ii) the association between use and known risk factors for methamphetamine use.

Methods. Data were obtained from 10 000 Western Cape Province Grade 8 learners in 54 secondary schools (mean age 14.0 years). Prevalence was descriptively reported while risk factors for past-month use were modelled in a hierarchical logistic regression with demographic, socioeconomic status, substance use, sexual activity and relationship predictors.

Results. Approximately 5% (n=496) of learners had used methamphetamine within their lifetime. Of these users, 65% (n=322) had used in the past month or week. Compared to never users, past-month users were more likely to be male, less likely to have a present or partially present mother, less likely to live in an apartment/flat/brick house, more likely to have used alcohol and tobacco and more likely to report having a same-sex partner.

Conclusion. Results replicate previously known methamphetamine risk factors and highlight the need to address methamphetamine use in comprehensive prevention initiatives.


Authors' affiliations

E H Weybright, Department of Human Development, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA

L L Caldwell, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; HIV and AIDS Programme, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa; and School of Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

L Wegner, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

E Smith, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; and HIV and AIDS Programme, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

J J Jacobs, HIV and AIDS Programme, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Methamphetamine; Tik; South Africa; Western Cape

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(11):1125-1128. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i11.10814

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-11-02
Date published: 2016-11-02

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