Most Used Drugs In South Africa By Ranking

Drug use is a common problem not only in South Africa but the world at large too. To make matters worse, the use of drugs has turned into drug abuse therefore making drug use statistics rise. Drugs are said to be the main cause of crime in South Africa because the more a person falls into addiction, the more they are willing to go to extreme measures to get it. Because of the high rate of addiction and demand amongst users, dealers make a fortune out of it too. The list below gives you a list of the most used drugs by ranking.


General SA drug statistics:

• Drug consumption in South Africa is twice the world norm.
• 15% of South Africa’s population have a drug problem.
• 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.

Drug Type Statistics



• Drug statistics show that 25 000 people die annually of smoking-related illnesses in SA. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa.
• 2,5 million workdays are lost in SA due to absenteeism from tobacco-related illnesses.
• Worldwide, between 80 000 and 100 000 kids start smoking every day.
• Among young teens (aged 13 to 15), about one in five smoke worldwide.




• 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.
• 18-22 years olds are the group of heaviest alcohol abuse.
• 35% of High schools kids are problem drinkers who drink at least 9 units spirits, 1 liter wine or 2 liters of beer.
• During the CDA study 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.



• The use of dagga has increased by 20% in two years.
• In 2006 2.52 million people used dagga and this increased to 3.2 million in 2008.
• South Africans use double the amount of Dagga, than the average world-wide figure.
• Over R3,5 billion is spent annually by South Africans to purchase dagga.
• 1500 metric tons of Dagga is used annually.
• South Africans spend an estimated R3560 million on dagga per year.




• Mandrax (Methaqualone) South Africa is the largest user of Mandrax in the world.
• SA produces approximately one ton of E per year.
• Almost 110 000 people use ecstasy and pay approximately R610 million in one year.



Lines of cocaine

• The use of cocaine has increased by 20% in two years.
• In 2006 there were 250 000 South Africans who consumed cocaine worth about R1 430 million, this increased to 290 000 in 2008.
• The number of South Africans in treatment for cocaine addiction increased from 1.5% in 1996 to 17.5%




• Crack (Rocks) is the drug of choice amongst prostitutes. Some spend up to R30 000 per month. Selling their bodies to between 15 and 25 men per day to be able to finance their addiction.


Methamphetamine (Tik)


• Tik (methamphetamine) is the main drug of choice for 42% of Cape Town drug users.
• Global Meth trade supplies 51 000 000 users worldwide.
• Worldwide profits of over  35 Billion are made from producing and distributing Meth.




• In1996, one percent (1%) of South Africans were in treatment for heroin abuse while in 2008 those in treatment for this addiction increased between 8 – 24%.
• “Sugars”, a Heroin based drug that affects about 70 percent of households in the Durban south suburb Chatsworth.
• Nyaope, a mixture of dagga and heroin, is causing inestimable damage among Tshwane’s township youth.
• Other forms of Heroin is on the increase under names like “Plazana” and “Kwape”, this makes the path from Dagga to Heroin much easier.
• More female students than male are using heroin.

In one year, the percentage of users has doubled in South Africa and is now marketed specifically in townships. Prices have also come down and it is far more affordable to lower income groups.

 Source: StatsSA

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