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How drugs and alcohol affect people<h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Why do people use drugs and alcohol? ​​​​​</h2><p> People may use drugs and alcohol to:</p><ul><li>relieve boredom;</li><li>reduce stress or trauma;</li><li>cope with anxiety and depression; or</li><li>help them in social situations.</li></ul><p>However, what may seem like a solution in the short term can easily become a serious problem for some.</p><p>We are still trying to understand what makes someone vulnerable to addiction, but research suggests the following may play a role:</p><ul><li>Difficult home or school conditions</li><li>Poverty or lack of job opportunities</li><li>Genes (especially if a parent abuses drugs or alcohol)</li><li>Being in a vulnerable stage of life (like the teenage years)</li><li>Having a mental disorder (like depression or anxiety)</li><li>Using more addictive substances like heroin, crystal meth (“tik”), cocaine and benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs)</li><li>Injecting and inhaling a substance, which speeds up its journey to the brain and/or nervous system makes it more addictive</li></ul><p>Download the <a href="" target="_blank">Substance Abuse Booklet<i class="icon link-external"></i>​​​</a> courtesy of the Western Cape government. In it you can find detailed information on treatment centres in the Western Cape as well as plenty of useful information on substance abuse.</p><h2 class="sectHeading" id="Heading8">​Causes of addiction</h2><p>All drugs, including alcohol, are addictive as they stimulate your brain’s reward system. This means that after your body gets used to certain drugs or alcohol, you feel ‘rewarded’ by taking them – this is the ‘high’.</p><p>These highs can also lead to long-term changes in the way the brain works till eventually it’s very difficult to stop taking drugs or drinking. Often, even when an addict stops abusing drugs or alcohol, the symptoms remain. For example, tik (methamphetamine) addicts who experience paranoia, hallucinations and delusions when ‘high’ often suffer from these symptoms years after they have stopped taking the drug.</p> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Preventing addiction​​</h2><p>Drugs and alcohol change a person’s moods and behaviour and can be seriously harmful to your health – both physically and mentally. It is not just the user’s health that is affected, but also those around them. If you know anyone who you think has a problem, it’s best to <a href="">seek help at once</a>. </p><p>There is a lot you can do to stop people from turning to drugs and alcohol, which includes educating those you care about on the risks of addiction, helping them find positive alternatives to drugs and/or alcohol, and giving support when someone needs it. </p><p>Below you can find some detailed steps on how best to stop people you care about turning to drugs or alcohol.</p><p> <b>Help them avoid addictive substances</b></p><ul><li>Educate yourself and others about the effects of drugs and alcohol, the risk of using them, and what type of help is available.</li><li>Help people make choices about their use of mood-altering substances, such as relaxing and having a good time without necessarily using alcohol, cigarettes or other mood-altering substances.</li><li>Report illegal activity – help stop the illegal supply of drugs/alcohol coming in to our communities.</li></ul> ​ <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>To report a drug dealer or drug-related activity, please email <a href=""> <em></em></a>. You may also contact 107 Public Emergency Community Centre (PECC) on <strong><em>107</em></strong> from a landline or <a> <em>021 480 7700</em></a> from a cell phone, or reach out on Twitter at @pecc107.</p></div></div><p> <b>Teach them to look after themselves</b><br> Encouraging your friends and family to keep fit and active is a wonderful way to build self-confidence and resilience, so that they do not turn to substances in hard times. The City has a number of free <a href="" target="_blank">sport and recreation programmes</a> and facilities like skate parks and community centres that provide a safe space for healthy, active fun. See all of our recreational facilities <a href="">here</a>. </p><p> <b>Help them keep their minds busy</b><br> Inspire people you care about to get involved in the community or develop their skills. There are<span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0"> many opportunities that the City of Cape Town offers you to <a href="">develop your skills. </a></span></p><p> <b>Encourage them to get involved in their communities</b><br> By encouraging strong community values, we can nurture healthy and happy individuals. Here are some great ways to get involved in the community:</p><ul><li>Become a <a href="">neighbourhood safety officer</a> or <a href="">school resource officer. </a></li><li>Join your <a href="">community policing forum</a>.</li><li>Join your <a href="">neighbourhood watch</a>. </li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Get help​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>If you need more information on substance abuse, support and treatment centres, call the City of Cape Town’s 24/7 toll-free alcohol and drug helpline on <a> <em>0800 4357 4 8</em></a> (0800 HELP 4 U) or visit our page <a href="">Help and treatment for an addicted loved one</a>. </p><p>You can also go straight to one of our clinics that offers Matrix-certified drug and alcohol outpatient support programmes. To find a Matrix-certified clinic, please select the 'Drug and alcohol outpatient treatment' filter when you are on our <a href="">clinics page</a>.</p>GP0|#2b3e8f29-df92-4ef2-9a4b-e950307de191;L0|#02b3e8f29-df92-4ef2-9a4b-e950307de191|How drugs and alcohol affect people;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#e85039f8-e351-41e6-9f99-64689ae52b08;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#b1258f3a-b131-4fc6-b38d-a8296984ee99;L0|#0b1258f3a-b131-4fc6-b38d-a8296984ee99|How drugs and alcohol affect people;GPP|#58938866-2da3-46ed-91ed-db2968a790ab;GPP|#063a6668-d6cb-4c45-adaf-f559697b85fd;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711Drugs and alcohol can change the way people think and act, but there are things you can do to help them.



Free Drug and Alcohol Treatment Pamphlet120663GP0|#367c7831-4239-4ad6-824a-c4325897c033;L0|#0367c7831-4239-4ad6-824a-c4325897c033|Pamphlet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2019-11-07T10:00:00Z
Sport and Recreation Department Combined Programme Schedules23464181GP0|#64516e28-0805-4b47-b9bf-56d16c027cb9;L0|#064516e28-0805-4b47-b9bf-56d16c027cb9|Schedule;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#d8892104-ce90-493e-b813-93c488f4b1d3;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2015-12-31T22:00:00Z
Substance Abuse Treatment Matrix Sites Contact List267834GP0|#8c7d6035-e7ea-4e28-a6e6-082bc1988a7e;L0|#08c7d6035-e7ea-4e28-a6e6-082bc1988a7e|Contact list;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#3a03f9b9-d2e9-49b1-92e1-37b654747f82;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2019-11-07T10:00:00Z



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