Substance use patterns in an adolescent psychiatric unit in Johannesburg, South Africa

South African Journal of Psychiatry

Field Value
Title Substance use patterns in an adolescent psychiatric unit in Johannesburg, South Africa
Creator Nxumalo, Vuyani W. Nel, Yvette M.
Subject Psychiatry adolescent; mental health; inpatient; substance use; prevalence.
Description Background: Substance use among adolescents carries a significant public health and socioeconomic burden with potential long-term consequences for the adolescent substance user (SU). Adolescents with mental health challenges are vulnerable to substance use and substance use worsens outcomes in this population.Aim: This study aimed to describe the substance use patterns among inpatients admitted to a specialised tertiary adolescent inpatient unit in Johannesburg over a 4-year period.Setting: This study was conducted at the Tara H. Moross Centre (Tara Hospital), in Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa.Methods: This was a retrospective comparative record review of all patients admitted to the adolescent unit over the 4 years.Results: A lifetime history of substance use was documented in 44.1% (n = 52) of the 118 patient’s records included in the final analysis. Cannabis was the most frequently used substance (n = 36, 69.2%). There were significant differences between the SU and substance nonuser groups regarding family structure (p = 0.012), family history of substance abuse (p = 0.046) and conflict within the family (p 0.001).Conclusion: The high prevalence of substance use in this sample demonstrates the dual burden of mental health disorders and substance use in an adolescent treatment programme in Johannesburg. Primary caregiver burden and relational difficulties within the family unit should be observed for planned multidisciplinary interventions.Contribution: The findings of this review provide an update on the pattern and prevalence of substance use among this adolescent mental healthcare user group, highlighting potential therapeutic targets.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor university of the witwatersrand Petra Gaylard
Date 2024-01-31
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — retrospective record review
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v30i0.2198
Source South African Journal of Psychiatry; Vol 30 (2024); 7 pages 2078-6786 1608-9685
Language eng
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Coverage Africa; South Africa; Gauteng; Johannesburg 2012-2015 adolescents; mixed genders, hospitalised mental health care users
Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Vuyani W. Nxumalo, Yvette M. Nel