• 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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Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:57

Medical Marijuana - An Agenda for Legal Drug Dealing?

While much has been said for and against the legalization of medical dagga in the media recently, what troubles CYPSA most is that pro-legalization argument seems to be originating predominantly with those who are not qualified to comment on the issue, or who are in fact promoting the legalization of dagga for recreational purposes primarily. Certain groups, who are not shy to share with the public that they are regular smokers of dagga, seem to be using the medical issue as a 'Trojan horse' in which to sneak through their own agenda of having dagga legalized, so that they may smoke, sell or cultivate the drug without the fear of being prosecuted.

marWhenever we as the medical profession discuss the issue from a medical point of view, individuals who are recreational users of dagga jump to defend the drug. This is a scientific issue that cannot be decided by the public in general. We are amazed when recreational smokers of dagga claim to have first-hand knowledge of the ins and outs of the substance from a scientific and medical point of view. This is not a political or an emotional issue, or one of personal or popular opinion – this is science.

The medical body of scholars and specialists, those who are in fact qualified to discuss the subject, are very concerned regarding the side effects of dagga because of sufficient evidence that shows that the drug is clearly dangerous. The United Nation's watchdog on drug policies globally, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has echoed the feeling of the medical fraternity that to decriminalize dagga on any grounds is misguided. The INCB's annual report commented on new policies in Colorado, USA, by saying that the commercial sale of dagga for medicinal use has led to an increase in motor accidents where drivers were under the influence of dagga, as well as an increase in adolescent dagga related hospital admissions. The United Kingdom is now reclassifying dagga as a harmful drug after its declassification only a few years ago, due to a huge increase in dagga related mental illness amongst the country's youth.

In the United States, dagga is listed and the second most common cause of fatal accidents, after alcohol, due to the impaired coordination and slower reaction times that it causes. Separate studies have been conducted which indicate that dagga can cause heart disease and complications, especially amongst young people. Dagga causes mental illness such as anxiety, paranoia and schizophrenia. Not only have many studies been conducted which reach this conclusion, but there are numerous cases of mental illness caused by dagga which we as an organization have experienced and have had to deal with personally.

All medical substances need to pass through extensive testing and screening processes before they can be registered with the medicine control counsel and other medical bodies. This process can take as long as several years of intensive studies. Side effects of any substance must be documented. Dagga has thousands of metabolites (chemicals produced when a substance is broken down by the body), all of which must be thoroughly tested and documented before dagga can be deemed safe for public consumption and registered as a medicine. Dagga smoke is more dangerous by far than cigarette smoke as it contains far more tar, carbon monoxide and other cancer causing substances. In some cases up to 70% more! Cigarettes are already generally accepted by the public as being extremely toxic and dangerous yet they contain far less toxins than the smoke produced by dagga which we are being lead to believe is a safe drug!

Once dagga is burned (combusted), thousands of chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen cyanide are produced and enter into the body. These toxins which are produced during combustion are the reason that the smoking of dagga is especially harmful to the human body. Can a substance which contains chemicals such as cyanide and ammonia be considered safe and beneficial? Dagga suppresses the immune system and while it may seem to alleviate some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS as is often claimed, it is most definitely not a safe way to treat the symptoms of this disease at all.
As the lines between the push to legalize for medicinal and for recreational use have become so blurred, we feel obliged to address the issue of recreational use as well.

Dagga is a gateway drug. In a recent survey conducted with those who come to us for help with drug related problems, all those who were interviewed regarding dagga replied without exception, that it was dagga that lead them into the use of other drugs. All of those who were questioned also responded that there was no doubt in their minds that they were addicted to the drug. Opinion on the 'positive' and enjoyable aspects of dagga use can be misleading due to the existence of primary and secondary reactions to the substance. While high on dagga, users report that their minds are clearer, they can focus better and that they are more relaxed and even more creative. The senses are heightened, it is true. When you eat something it tastes better and ones vision feels sharper. However these are all primary reactions and only last for 2-4 hours. While dagga is being metabolized in the body, secondary reactions take place which can last up to 3 months as the chemicals found in dagga are slowly worked out of the fatty parts of the body where they are stored. These metabolites have the opposite effect of the initial pleasant sensations that are present immediately after smoking and can be very dangerous.

No longer is the individual focused, but they have scattered thoughts and an attention deficit, the inability to remain on one train of thought and the inability to follow through on tasks. Anxiety and worry are also common, stress increases and this is when the user begins to rely on dagga to counteract these negative side effects. The ironic thing is that the very crutch they lean on is the cause of these undesirable emotions and side effects in the first place and the vicious circle simply continues, growing ever more severe in its highs and lows. If users were to stop using dagga, they would find that they would no longer experience many of these challenges at all

Evidence shows that over a longer period, dagga physically damages the brain, actually shrinking the hypocampus and amygdala by up to 12%! This results in memory loss, the failure to complete even simple tasks and a chronic lack of motivation. Dagga smokers suffer outbursts of rage and anger as their emotions are no longer controllable. The only way they are able to deal with these outbursts is by smoking another joint. The reprieve is short as within a few hours they will simply plummet back into a spiral of depression and mixed emotions causing them to smoke yet more dagga. This is addiction!

Dagga is a dangerous substance which threatens the youth of South Africa and the future of our nation. For the reasons mentioned above CYPSA remains opposed to the legalization of dagga on any grounds whatsoever.

Read 758 times Last modified on Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:59
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