Addiction comes in many forms and if you are concerned you might be addicted to a substance, like alcohol or behaviour like gambling you must consider truthfully answering the following questions to establish if you might have a problem.
- Have you ever used drugs other than those required for medicinal reasons?
- Have you ever abused prescription drugs?
- Do you or have you abused more than one drug at a time?
- Can you get through the week without using drugs or acting out on a certain behaviour?
- Are you always able to stop using drugs or acting out a certain behaviour when you want to?
- Have you ever had “blackouts” or “flashbacks” as a result of drug use?
- Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug use or bahaviour?
- Does your spouse (or parents) ever complain about your involvement with drugs or behaviour?
- Has drug abuse or certain behaviours created problems between you and your spouse or your parents?
- Have you lost friends because of your use of drugs or behaviour?
- Have you neglected your family because of your use of drugs or behaviour ?
- Have you been in trouble at work because of drug abuse or certain behaviours?
- Have you lost a job because of drug abuse or certain behaviours?
- Have you gotten into fights when under the influence of drugs?
- Have you engaged in illegal activities in order to obtain drugs?
- Have you been arrested for possession of illegal drugs?
- Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms (felt sick) when you stopped taking drugs?
- Have you had medical problems as a result of your drug use (e.g. memory loss, hepatitis, convulsions, bleeding, etc.)?
- Have you gone to anyone for help for a drug problem or certain behaviours?
- Have you been involved in a treatment program specifically related to drug use or certain behaviours?
If many of your answers are “Yes” you might seriously need to consider to get help as soon as possible.
Drug Abuse in SA
In South Africa as well as the rest of the world more and more people are getting addicted to various substances, but in South Africa, where drug consumption is twice of the world norm, the situation is becoming more dire by the minute. Latest statistics show that more around 15% of the population is addicted to some substance or another, this is why we are regarded as one of the drug capitols of the world. Substance abuse and addiction also doesn’t discriminate – it is happening across all races, ages, sexes and classes. From schools to the corporate world people are getting addicted to subscription medicine, hard drugs and even porn.
Rehabilitation services are also very expensive and only available to a select few of the population who can afford it or has medical aid. This means that there are literally thousands of addicts and their families who can’t afford help and without the help the situation isn’t going to change. If the situation doesn’t change more people will get hooked on drugs, which stimulates the drug trade even more.
The cost to our society due to drug abuse is enormous. If we calculate only the costs only with regards to policing, the legal system as well as correctional services we are looking at R 250 000 000 per year. That is in Gauteng alone. HERE is a full detailed report conducted by Quintin van Kerken CEO of the Anti Drug Alliance SA.
This excludes the “spin off” societal costs of drug abuse and addiction like prostitution, burglaries, hi-jackings, deteriorating family relations, declining values, the spread of disease like HIV etc.
Ignorance of this pandemic is not bliss, because we are directly affected by addiction in various forms like mentioned above. Drug dealers are after our children, friends and colleagues, marketing their drugs in our malls and suburbs. Addicts are on the streets, begging or stealing to get their next fix. Families are losing their possessions, homes and each other due to the sickness of addiction.
This is why we decided to act, to make a difference in the lives of others who are suffering with the disease of addiction because at the end of the day all of us will benefit from it.