South Africa on Top of the List for Drug Abused Countries

Unfortunately Drug Abuse is a common problem in society today, and on a global scale, the drug problem isn’t restricted to just one or two of the poorer countries. One of the countries that are most affected by the rise in drug use is South Africa, where in the last decade, drug use has increased by a massive 600%, according to: Dr David Bayever, a specialist in the field of drug abuse, claims that at least 15% of South African’s are now battling with a drug abuse problem, and this number is only continuing to rise.

The drug problem in South Africa is now so bad that the government have published a warning stating that drug abuse could pose a bigger threat HIV/Aids to young people, furthermore, this problem is costing the South African government R20 billion each year

In each country, there are certain drugs that are the problem, these vary slightly from country to country, but the main ones to be aware of are:


  • Marijuana (otherwise known as Dagga)
  • Cocaine: Cocaine is highly addictive and has severe side effects. Cocaine affects all of your organs and your bodily system meaning it can be very dangerous if abused for long periods of time, or the user overdoses.
  • Crack: is relatively cheap to make and gives the user an immediate high, as such it became very popular in the mid 80’s. The drug Crack is instantly and highly Buy Fentanyl Citrate Injection addictive, continued use of it makes the human brain desensitized, it builds up a tolerance that means the user needs to take more of the drug in order to achieve the same high. As such this often results in users overdosing on the drug, and/or having to turn to a life of crime to pay for the expensive drug.
  • Heroin: again is a highly addictive drug, derived from morphine this drug produces feeling of euphoria, as such it is very moreish. Furthermore, most heroin users inject the drug, which can be risky and spreads viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C. injecting this drug could also damage veins so much so that they developed abscesses and/or may clot.
  • Ecstasy: is a common ‘going out drug’ for young adults and teenagers alike. This drug keeps users feeling energised and awake, bringing with it temporary feelings of love. Ecstasy rarely comes in its pure form, as such you can never really be sure what is in it and so what reaction you will have. This drug can produce feelings of anxiety and can give the user panic attacks, furthermore it is very easy for users to become dehydrated when using this drug.
  • Methamphetamine: similar to cocaine or speed, this drug is often called Crystal Meth, and is highly addictive. After a powerful high of 4 to 12 hours, users often experience a strong comedown. Long term use of this drug has been linked to brain damage, according to
  • Amphetamines: otherwise known as speed, this drug puts a great strain on the heart, leading to a number of users overdosing and passing away. This drug is similar to methamphetamine in the sense of the intense high and comedown, though the effects don’t last as long and speed has the extra concern of causing acute psychosis in users, according to
  • Mandrax: South Africa is the biggest user of this drug, it was initially prescribed as a sleeping tablet, however, it was found to have severe side effects, even resulting in death. Mandrax has severe side effects including: aggression, insomnia, epilepsy, toxic psychosis and reduction in muscle control of the body.
  • Whoonga: is made from a combination of marijuana, heroin and HIV medication. Like Crack, Whoonga is highly addictive, the user requires more of the drug to get high and as such it quickly becomes an unaffordable habit.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the drugs available, however, it does cover the main drugs that we should be concerned about.

If you think you might know someone who is taking drugs, and/or has an addiction to drugs, you should make yourself aware of the signs and symptoms of a drug addiction, and understand the road to recovery, including all of the difficulties the user may face when rehabilitating.The warning signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to:


  • Bloodshot eyes, large/small pupils that may be unresponsive to a change in light.
  • Weight loss or gain due to a change in appetite.
  • Change in sleeping habits or insomnia.
  • Ignorance to appearance (i.e. not washing/grooming).
  • Smells unusual either on the clothing or the body/breath.
  • Lack of coordination and physical shaking, seeming spaced out if/when they do spend time with people.
  • Incoherent and/or slurred speech.
  • Neglecting responsibilities, perhaps an increase in sickness absence from work. Abandoning hobbies and activities that they used to enjoy.
  • Problems in relationships arising.
  • Change in attitude and/or personality.
  • Irritability, mood swings, angry outbursts, unusual hyperactivity or agitation. Is unnecessarily anxious, scared and paranoid.
  • Lacking in motivation.
  • Sudden financial problems.
  • Behaving secretly.
  • Change of circle of friends.
  • Getting into trouble, such as stealing to fund the drug addiction.


Regardless of how long someone has been using drugs for, or how much of the drug they actually take, recovery is always possible. With great determination, a strong support network and the desire to kick the habit, every drug addict can overcome their addiction. In order for rehabilitation to be possible, the user needs to admit that they have got a problem, and make the choice to address the problem themselves, unfortunately this isn’t something you can decide for them. During the recovery process it is likely that the person addicted to drugs will use at least once more, relapsing is perfectly normal and most users do it before they eventually become sober, always bear this in mind and encourage the user to start the quitting process again. Another thing you can do to encourage the user to keep quitting is to show them real life cases of heavy drug users that have now quit. Stories such as mine are inspirational for people who just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it will show the user that regardless of how much you use, you can overcome your drug habit if you have enough dedication to the cause.

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