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Alcohol use at universities: a case study of young students in Durban.

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Alcohol use is a global concern because of the health risks it poses that contributes to the overall burden of disease. Alcohol use among young people, especially university students, is concerning and a major public health issue because of the increasing levels of use. Excessive alcohol use can affect a young individual’s general health, emotional wellbeing, and their social development. There is a dearth of literature that focuses exclusively on the use of alcohol by male university students. This study aimed to fill this gap by providing insights into alcohol use by male university students by drawing on the qualitative research approach. In total, 20 semi-structured in-depth interviews were held with students at the University of KwaZulu- Natal. The findings of this study suggest that there is a high prevalence of alcohol use among the study sample. Students revealed that they first started using alcohol when they were at high school. In addition, the study revealed that individual, environmental and demographic factors contribute to alcohol use. Although students were aware of the adverse effects of alcohol use, they were also aware of and used various strategies to deal with these alcohol-related challenges. Similarly, the interviews suggest that male students had negative attitudes towards alcohol because of the bad experiences they encountered when they consumed alcohol. This study recommends that future research explores the factors that encourage and help students responsibly decrease alcohol use. Universities need to strengthen their responsibility to manage their students’ drinking patterns. Student driven alcohol awareness and education programmes by universities is also recommended to prevent alcohol use at campuses.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.