Drug addiction South Africa has always been of serious concern, and yet, alarmingly, recent studies have found illicit drug use, and the rampant crime to come with it, to be on a steady rise.
With these new alarming figures in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently abused substances in South Africa right now.
A common misconception about cannabis is that it’s a non-addictive substance. On the contrary, the threat of cannabis dependence is very real, and the cannabis being used by citizens today is very different from the strains used in the 1970s. Its strength and potency have increased dramatically.
Like all other drugs, cannabis has an effect on the brain, changing the areas responsible for reward and reinforcement. We develop a stronger drive to partake in activities associated with that drug. Not only that, but cannabis is scientifically proven to have a serious effect on the developing brain, with a higher risk of cannabis dependency developing in users under 18.
Powdered cocaine, or ‘coke’, is the most widely abused stimulant in South Africa. It’s commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or dissolved and injected into the veins. Cocaine is shown to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain, creating feelings of intense happiness and disconnect from reality.
With rises in depression and anxiety, this recreational drug has seen a steep rise during the lockdown. Dependency can occur, and an increase in dosage to chase that high often results in a life-threatening drug overdose
Addicts chase the feeling of relaxation, euphoria and disconnect it provides, and addicts have been shown to increase their dosage and take painkillers when they have no need to. Prescription painkillers can be found and acquired through the illegal drug trade, and come with the same risks of addiction, dependence and overdose as illicit drugs.
You can read more about what prescription and even over-the-counter medications are being abused in lockdown, and how to pursue help for these addictions, in our accompanying blog here.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Addiction in Cape Town
If you or someone you love has developed a drug addiction during the lockdown, there is still hope. While it’s easy to feel alienated and a strong sense of disassociation during social distancing, there are still programs in place to support addicts on the road to recovery, particularly in-house treatment. As the situation stands, it’s recommended to pursue in-clinic treatment for drug abuse, where patients can find a strong support structure, medical care, and a much-needed removal from the environment that led to drug abuse in the first place.
With Rehab Helper, you can make your first step in the road to recovery all the easier. We’ve compiled an extensive list of Cape Town Drug rehabilitation centres for you to find the perfect rehab treatment for you. No matter what substance or dependence you suffer from, you can find a treatment plan that will best accommodate and support you on your road to sobriety.
If you have any questions about any of our listed rehabs and programs, get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to assist you with any queries you may have.