Substance abuse among learners within school premises is a growing concern in South Africa. It not only affects the well-being of the learners but also disrupts the educational environment, leading to a cascade of negative consequences. Identifying the contributing factors that cause an increase in substance abuse among learners is crucial for implementing effective preventive measures. This article will discuss three significant factors contributing to the rise of substance abuse among learners in school premises. More detailed information can be found at

Three Contributing Factors that Cause an Increase in the Number of Learners Abusing Substances in School Premises

Factor 1: Peer Pressure and Social Influence

  1. Desire for Acceptance: Peer pressure can make learners feel compelled to engage in substance abuse to gain acceptance or status within a group.
  2. Exposure to Substance Use: Regular exposure to friends or classmates who use substances can normalize the behavior, leading to experimentation and regular use.

Factor 2: Lack of Education and Supervision

  1. Inadequate Education on Substance Abuse: Insufficient or lacking education about the dangers of substance abuse can result in uninformed choices by learners.
  2. Poor Supervision: Lack of supervision in school premises allows learners easier access to substances, making abuse more likely.

Factor 3: Socio-Economic and Family Factors

  1. Family Dysfunction: Problems within the family, such as neglect or abuse, may drive learners towards substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
  2. Poverty: Economic hardship might lead learners to engage in illegal activities, such as selling drugs, which can subsequently result in their own substance abuse.


The rise in substance abuse among learners in school premises is a complex issue, driven by various interconnected factors. Peer pressure, lack of education and supervision, and socio-economic and family factors are significant contributors. Addressing these factors requires a concerted effort from educators, parents, community leaders, and policymakers. Comprehensive education, enhanced supervision, support for at-risk learners, and collaboration with families can make a substantial difference in curbing this alarming trend. For further insights and resources on this vital subject, please refer to

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