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SUBSTANCE ABUSE Repeated use of the substance in ways that would be considered physically harmful

Substance abuse

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Substance abuse

Substance abuse Repeated use of the substance in ways that would be considered physically harmful

What IS SUBSTANCE ABUSE?Substance abuse is defined as the excessive use of a substance, which can be alcohol, or drugs. Substance abuse is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts by means of methods which are used to consume the substance, which can be through sniffing, drinking, smoking or inhaling the substance there are different methods which can be used to consume the substance. These methods can be harmful to the individual and others around the person consuming the substance.

Overview of the drug abuse problem in south Africa.Drug abuse in South Africa is fast becoming a big problem. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, illegal drug consumption in South Africa is double the world norm. This has led to an increase in crime rates especially among poor unemployed South Africans. Figures published by the South African Police Service show that drug abuse accounts for 60% of all crimes. To make matters worse, the Central Drug Authoritys (CDA) Dr. David Bayever reckons that up to 15% of South Africans adolescents abuse drugs.

Factors that contribute to substance abuse.A study carried out by researchers from the Free State University, University of Natal, University of the North, and Institute for Special Populations Research found that South Africa has the uncertain distinction of having the largest illegal drug market in sub-Saharan Africa. Factors that have contributed to rising levels of drug abuse include widespread and severe poverty levels, rapid transformation and decline of traditional and social relationships, as well as porous borders. Expanding trade links with other parts of the world such as Asia, Europe, and the Americas have also made South Africa attractive to drug traffickers.

Widely used drugs in South AfricaA nationwide survey carried out by Shisana et al. found that 2.3% of the urban population use cannabis. In rural areas, the rate stands at one %. In addition, figures from the Youth Risk and Behavior Survey (YRBS) show that nine percent of school-age children use cannabis. South Africans addicted to cannabis account for 19.9 % of all patients undergoing treatment at drug rehabilitation centers. Cocaine is another widely used drug with substance abuse rate in South Africa figures from the CDA showing that its use increased by 20 % between 2006 and 2008. As a result, the number of people seeking treatment for cocaine addiction increased from 1.5 % in 1996 to 17.5 % in 2008. Other widely used drugs are heroin,

Drugs among teenagersAccording to the Central Drug Authority, the substance abuse rate in South Africa among teenagers is spiraling out of control. In fact, one in two school children have already experimented with drugs. In most cases, children start experimenting in drugs at age twelve, according to the CDA. A study published in the Lancet Medical Journal found that more than 60 % of teenagers aged 18 years regularly drink alcohol. This is worrying considering 30% of teenagers drink alcohol when they should be in school. The problem with drinking alcohol during ones teenage years is it increases the likelihood of developing alcohol dependency later in life. Cannabis abuse among teenagers ranges anywhere from two to nine %.There is no doubt substance abuse rate in South Africa is rising every year. Some of the widely available and abused drugs includeheroin, marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine. Another increasingly popular drug is Nyaope a mixture of marijuana and heroin.

Types of substance abuse.

alcohol abuseAlcohol abuse is defined as the pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following situations within a twelve months period: Failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities.Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery.Having recurring alcohol related legal problems, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunkContinued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by the drinking.

Common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse.

Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work or school because of your drinking.Using alcohol in situations where its physically dangerousExperiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinkingContinuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships.Drinking as a way to distress or to relax.

The effects of alcohol abuse

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can affect all aspects of your life, long term alcohol can cause serious health complications, affecting virtually every organ in your body, including your brain.Drinking can also damage your emotional stability, finances, career, and your ability to build and sustain satisfying relationships.Alcohol and alcoholism can also have an impact on your family, friends and the people you work or school with.

What are the causes of substance abuse

Peer pressure Influence on a peer group, observers or individual exerts that encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviours to conform to groups

As a way to deal with stress

In many occasions individuals get overwhelmed by their daily activities of which ultimately leads to them a resorting to an overdose of harmful substances to get rid of the stress

Growing up in a home where alcohol and drug abuse is considered normal behaviour

Coping with the death of a loved oneIn most cases individuals are faced with the pain of dealing with losing a loved one. Drugs and alcohol are usually the easy way out from the sad reality for the those dealing with the pain.

Teenage rebellion

During adolescent most teenagers rebel against their parents which results to them abusing substances to prove a point or to show their parents that they know better and spite them in the process.

Those with low self-esteem may abuse substances in order to boost confidence

Dealing with relationship problemsAs a way getting away from the stress caused by relationship problems individuals tend to abuse substances to forget about the stress


Being unemployed leads to individuals resorting to substance abuse as a way of getting from reality.

preventionThe primary, secondary and the tertiary stages of prevention.

PRIMARY LEVEL OF PREVENTION.It focuses on preventing the problem from occurring.Collaborative plans should be made with parents, school boards, treatment agencies, and concerned groups within the community to ensure successful programsParties involved when planning on the preventionThe family The schoolCommunity

The familyPositive parent relationships between parents and their childrenparents must pay attention and be involved in everything that their children doSupportive parenting that meets financial, emotional, cognitive, and social needs is essential.clear limits and consistent enforcement of disciplineAdult supervision of activities outside the homeknowing the childs friends,Enforcing household rules.Strong bonds with prosocial institutions, such as school and religious institutions.

The school Teach learners about the harmful effects abusing substances.They must know all the facts about the abuse will show them pictures of people whose lives were ruined by the use of alcohol.Learners must participate in extracurricular activities at school e.g. sport,Include teaching students how to resist peer influences, improving generic life skills, involving families, and providing opportunities to become involved in positive experiences with others in the school and community. Skills like self-control, which tends to inhibit problem behavior and often increases naturally as children mature during adolescence.

The communityCommunity level with civic, religious,law enforcement and other government organizations to enhance anti-drug norms and pro-social behaviours.The community norms must be ones that are not supportive of substance abuse therefore substance abuse should not be entertained.Community-based strategies that reduce risk factors such as the availability of drugs and alcohol and promote norms that discourage underage drinking and drug use.

Tertiary preventionConsultation to address immediate or ongoing concerns related to existing severe difficulties that students may be facing.

examplesFor example when the child is already addicted to alcohol or drugs to the extent that the child cannot cope without it. It is also important to define the cause that could have led the child to be addicted such as stress, trauma, being bullied.Alcohol may cause students to be suicidal and other issues such as stress, anger etc

THIS RESULTS IN The addicted child resulting to crime, stealing in order to sustain the drug habit. This leads to being excluded in the society.The child might be suspended from school and academics might suffer as the child will not have time for their academicsFamily systems suffer as parents loose hope in their children and as that might

TRANSITIONAL COUNSELLING Transition back to societyTransition back to school Transition back into a family system

GETTING LEARNERS TO BE MORE INVOLVEDthe devil finds work for idle handsExtra-curricular activities such as soccer, netball, any activity that learners can do to keep busy Community programmes such as dramas and recreational activities in community halls.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES The African proverb says IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILDCommunity patrol programmesWorking together with the police