• Krokodil

    Desomorphine, better known by its street name Krokodil, is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine with a powerful, fast-acting sedative high akin to that of heroin.
    This extremely addictive, injectable opioid is named, in part, because users report black or green scaly skin as a side effect – the flesh then starts to "harden, rot, and fall off," often in chunks. Addicts will usually die within two years of first use.
  • Tik (Crystal Meth)

    "Tik" is the South African street name for crystal methamphetamine.
    It has a very bad reputation in South Africa because it is more potent than other forms of meth and because it is so easily available. It started off as the drug of choice in poor communities because of its affordability, but has since spread to other levels of society.
  • Heroin (Whoonga/Nyaope)

    Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.”
    South Africa is currently experiencing an epedemic of heroin abuse in the form of cheap heroin nicknamed "whoonga", "nayaope" or "sugars".
  • Buttons (Mandrax)

    South Africa is the largest abuser of Mandrax in the world.
    Statistics show that Mandrax with Dagga is still the drug of preference in the largest parts of South Africa. Mandrax is mainly sold in the form of a tablet and is highly addictive.
  • Ecstasy

    Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.
    Mixed with alcohol, Ecstasy is extremely dangerous and can, in fact, be deadly. So widespread has been the harm of this “designer drug,” that emergency room incidents skyrocketed by more than 1,200% after Ecstasy became the “club drug” of choice at all-night “rave” parties and dance clubs.
  • LSD

    Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) (popular street name "Acid") - is the strongest and most popular hallucinogenic substance known.
    LSD users call an LSD experience a “trip,” typically lasting twelve hours or so. When things go wrong, which often happens, it is called a “bad trip,” another name for a living hell.
  • Prescription Medication

    Abuse of prescription drugs can be even riskier than the abuse of illegally manufactured drugs. The high potency of some of the synthetic (man-made) drugs available as prescription drugs creates a high overdose risk.
    The consequences of prescription drug abuse have been steadily worsening, reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits, and overdose deaths.
  • Alcohol

    Alcohol affects every organ in the drinker's body and can damage a developing fetus.
    Intoxication can impair brain function and motor skills; heavy use can increase risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver disease.
  • Dagga

    By no means a "safe" or "soft" drug as is so often claimed.
    In some ways, the effect on a user's mental health for example, dagga can be more dangerous than heroin.
  • Tobacco

    Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis, heart disease, pregnancy-related problems, and many other serious health problems.
    Each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers.
  • Cocaine

    Extracted from coca leaves, cocaine was originally developed as a painkiller. It is most often sniffed, with the powder absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. It can also be ingested or rubbed into the gums.
    Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs known to man. Once a person begins taking the drug, it has proven almost impossible to become free of its grip physically and mentally.
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Saturday, 04 July 2015 09:18

Medicinal Dagga: The Dangers Can't Be Ignored


glad"There is not sufficient evidence to support the potential medicinal benefit from cannabis use cautions an academic from Stellenbosch University. Dagga is the most common illicit drug abused in South Africa and while some people argue that it holds medicinal benefits, a psychiatrist from the Stellenbosch University maintains that there is not yet enough evidence to support this.

"Although this drug is viewed as an innocent herb by many, there is increasing concern about adverse health consequences," said Dr Lize Weich, senior psychiatrist and lecturer at Stellenbosch University. She said there is concern about the popular belief that cannabis is "medicinal" and thus "harmless and safe", especially among children and adolescents. The developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of cannabis use, Weich said. "It is the most common illicit drug used by this group and has been linked with poor educational attainment, dropping out of school, later unemployment and lower life satisfaction and even with a decline in IQ."

She said adolescent onset cannabis use has also been linked to various psychiatric problems in this age group, including an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, which is a brain disorder that affects the way a person behaves, thinks and sees the world.

Weich emphasised that some early studies may suggest potential medicinal qualities from cannabis use, including relief of neuropathic pain, increasing appetite and treatingglaucoma, but there is not yet sufficient evidence to support its efficacy and rule out harms and human trials in this regard is still largely lacking. "It is clear that legalising cannabis for medicinal use is an important topic that needs careful consideration. Much more research is required to establish efficacy along with a clear public message highlighting risks, especially among the youth," she noted.

The most potent agent the cannabis plant contains is delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC acts by activating the endocannabinoid receptor system, a delicate system that modulates the balance in other neurotransmitter systems, thereby ensuring optimal functioning of multiple biological functions including learning, memory, stress, appetite, movement and pain perception.

Weich highlighted some statistics about cannabis use:
- It is estimated that about one in nine cannabis users will become dependent, while those who start using it in their teens have a one in six chance of becoming dependent.
- It is also linked to other medical complications, including heart attacks, as well as arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and strokes.
- Lung problems, like chest infections, chronic bronchitis and emphysema are common among cannabis users.
- Cannabis smoke also contains cancer causing agents similar to that found in tobacco smokeand that may predispose an individual to lung cancer.
- Cannabis use impairs driving ability and users are at a higher risk of car accidents.
- Its use in pregnancy has been linked with neuro-behavioural problems in children.
- Long-term cannabis use can also affect memory and the ability to process information.
- Cannabis intoxication can also lead to multiple psychiatric complications, like panic, anxiety,depression or psychotic symptoms.

- Heavy cannabis use has been linked to reduced pro-social goal-directed behaviour, apathy and diminished drive, referred to by some as the 'amotivational syndrome'.

Parachuted into the spotlight
In April the Department of Social Development and the Central Drug Authority (CDA) convened a two-day conference aimed at starting a national discussion on whether dagga for medicinal use should be legalised.
The legalisation of medical marijuana was parachuted into the spotlight in South Africa after  "medical innovation bill" was revived in parliament. The bill calls for the immediate establishment of a medical centre where at least 100 patients can be legally treated with medical marijuana, a treatment dagga activists described as "effective and harmless".

Cannibis was banned in South Africa in 1928; however, the country is ranked as one of the top producers of the drug globally."

CYPSA is a NPO committed to helping youth escape their addictions.



Read 647 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 July 2015 14:34
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