South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde

The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) project, phases 1-8--cannabis and Mandrax.

PMID 12197197


To provide community-level public health surveillance information on cannabis and Mandrax (methaqualone) use and associated health and social consequences. A descriptive, epidemiological study of cannabis and Mandrax supply and demand indicators based on data gathered from multiple sources, including specialist treatment centres, trauma units, police records, and quantitative and qualitative studies of school students, sex workers, persons attending rave clubs, and arrestees. Networks were established at five sentinel sites to facilitate the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of data. Supply and demand indicators point to the widespread use of cannabis and Mandrax and significant increases in white pipe-related health and social problems. There has been an increase in the demand for treatment related to cannabis/Mandrax use, a high proportion of patients in trauma units who test positive for cannabis and/or Mandrax, and a high proportion of cannabis and Mandrax-positive arrestees. Although the use of cannabis is predominantly a male phenomenon and is widespread among young people, it occurs in all sectors of South African society. Mandrax users tend to be young, male, and coloured. Cannabis and Mandrax use has a number of implications for health and social policy, including the need to develop protocols for the identification and management of cannabis/Mandrax-positive trauma patients and arrestees. The study points to the need for further monitoring of cannabis and Mandrax use and the negative consequences associated with their use.

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