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Cannabis use : social risk factors and knowledge of health risks in a sample of adolescents.

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A study was conducted at a Durban high school which has a mixture of socioeconomic classes and races. All grade 10 pupils present on the day of the study were asked to complete a questionnaire under examination-like conditions. The aim was to determine the prevalence of dagga smoking as well as the pupils' knowledge of the effects and health risks of dagga smoking and the prevalence of associated features such as alcohol use, cigarette smoking and sexual activity. Dagga smoking was found to occur commonly (22.9%) and to be mainly a white male group activity. There was a strong association with cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse and a general lack of knowledge concerning the adverse health effects of dagga smoking. Peer pressure and relief of stress were cited as the commonest reasons for dagga smoking. More information and life skills training is required for this group of students as well as further research into substance abuse related topics in general.


Thesis (M.Med.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1997.


Cannabis--Toxicology., Cannabis--Physiological effect., Social indicators., Theses--Family medicine., Teenagers--Drug use.