Evidence suggests substance abuse in Tanzania is a growing public health problem. A random sample of 899 adults aged 15-59 in two urban sites of differing levels of poverty surveyed alcohol, tobacco and illicit substance use. Rates of substance use were 17.2%. 8.7% and 0.8% for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, respectively. Living in the less affluent area was associated with higher lifetime rates of tobacco and alcohol use. Substance use is less prevalent in Tanzania than in richer countries, but lifetime consumption is higher in poorer areas. The association of substance use with a range of socio-economic factors warrants further research.
Keywords: Tanzania; alcohol; substance use.