• 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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Monday, 30 November -0001 00:00

Nutt had it wrong: stats show a different story…

In the recent Pretoria High Court Case, Prof Nutt vehemently defended the use of dagga as a safer alternative, continuously comparing it to the harms of tobacco and alcohol. Also stating that when cannabis is legalised, alcohol consumption will drop. On being challenged with the findings of other experts such as Professor Bertha Madras and Professor Robin Murray, as well as the World Health Organisation and the World Drug Report (2017), Nutt kept on reverting to his scale of “comparative harms” which was formulated after a one-day caucus which included many experts who were in fact some of his previous colleagues. Their findings rated alcohol as the most dangerous drug, while cannabis scored much lower. While comparative to alcohol, harms may indeed be less, this is not a realistic way of looking at the harms of cannabis on the individual and our South African society. Now ten years later, this MCDA-model is being referred to as inadequate by other scholars. Nutt’s model does not take poly-drug use, potency and frequency of use into account. He is neither an expert on the challenges of drug use within the South African context and neither on the complex drug scene within our cities and townships.
Furthermore, Harvard University together with John Hopkins University in the SAMS report of October 2016, state “though it is still early, these “experiments” in [dagga] legalization are not succeeding.”
The SAMS report further states that the outcomes in Colorado and Washington paint a vastly different reality to that which Professor Nutt wishes us to believe in:
• There are rising rates of pot use by minors
• Increasing arrests rates of minors, especially black (+58%) and Hispanic (+29%) children
• More accidents (155%), injuries (185%), absenteeism (178%) and disciplinary problems (155%) among pot users all increase costs for employers.
• Higher rates of traffic deaths from driving while high (a jump from 10.8% in 2013 to 22.1% in 2014)
• More marijuana-related poisonings and hospitalizations ages (+108%)
• A persistent black market that may now involve increased Mexican cartel activity in Colorado. In February 2015, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman told reporters: “The criminals are still selling on the black market. ... We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado (and) plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all.”
• Alcohol consumption has risen in Colorado-post legalization

Within the South African context, teachers experience great difficulties handling dagga related incidents in schools across South Africa. “...after break, I cannot teach the learners anything, they are all on a high, using dagga,” stated a disgruntled principle. Surveys done at 2 534 schools across South Africa point to the fact that drug abuse is a key reason behind the high failure rates of students and that dagga ranks as the third biggest problem after general drug addiction and teenage pregnancy.

May South African legislators not experiment with the future of our youth.

Read 145 times Last modified on Saturday, 12 August 2017 16:18
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