A recent study published in the South African Medical Journal shows that drug abuse is prevalent in the country with 1 out of every 5 adults abuse substances like alcohol, dagga and painkillers.
Dr Eugene Allers, a member of the South African Society of Psychiatrists (Sasop) says alcohol is the number one abused substance followed by opioids (which includes codeine, heroine, nyaope and wonga) as well as dagga.
Allers says the reason behind this is that it is easy to get drugs into South Africa and sell them, and the demand is also huge.
There are 10 million South Africans absuing substances and you don't find 10 million people in rehabs. There's a large proportion of people that don't do anything about it, don't recognise the problem and continue doing the problem.— Dr Eugene Allers, a member of the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP)
There's a massive awareness that needs to be made to get people to treatment.— Dr Eugene Allers, a member of the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP)
Allers says the estimated cost of linked to alcohol abuse, whether direct or indirect, is sitting at R300 billion. That's about 10% of the South Africa GDP, he says.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Dr Eugene Allers, listen below: