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.