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The dangers of alcohol<h2 class="sectHeading">The effects of alcohol</h2><p>​​​​​Drinking alcohol is often seen as an acceptable social activity, but for some people, it becomes a problem. In fact, alcohol is the most frequently abused substance in the Western Cape. Although the province has some of the greatest wine producers in the world, we are still suffering the consequences of the ‘dop’ system – a practice where farm workers were ‘paid’ with a daily supply of cheap wine.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>If you have information on illegal liquor operators, contact the Liquor Authority on <a> <em>0860 142 142</em></a>.</p></div></div><p> <b>Short-term effects</b><br>Although alcohol makes us feel relaxed and often gives us ‘false confidence’ – making us more sociable and talkative – it can also have these negative effects:</p><ul><li>Drowsiness</li><li>Loss of body control – falling over or passing out</li><li>Confusion and bad judgement</li><li>Loss of inhibition – we may become more adventurous and do things we wouldn’t normally do, such as having unprotected sex, which increases the risk of <a href="">HIV/AIDS</a> and <a href="">teenage pregnancies</a></li><li>Slurred speech, double vision and difficulty in judging distance</li><li>Anger or aggression, which can lead to violence</li><li>Mood swings</li><li>Reduced attention span</li></ul>​​​​ <p> <b>Possible long-term effects</b><br> When alcohol is misused or abused for longer periods of time it can have the following effects (some of which are life threatening): </p><ul><li>Brain damage</li><li>Comas</li><li>Hallucinations</li><li>High blood pressure</li><li>Blackouts and memory loss</li><li>Stomach ulcers</li><li>Alcohol poisoning</li><li>Infertility in men and inability to perform sexually (get an erection)</li><li>Damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas</li><li>Cancer of the mouth, pharynx (throat) and oesophagus (canal between throat and stomach)</li><li>Depression and/or suicide.</li></ul><p>Information sources: <a href="" target="_blank">Western Cape Government<i class="icon link-external"></i>​​</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town Drug Counselling Center.<i class="icon link-external"></i>​</a></p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>If you have <a href="">HIV/AIDS</a>, drinking alcohol can make you get sick quicker. This is because both HIV and alcohol weaken the body’s immune system. Additionally, when people drink too much they often forget to take their medication.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Problem drinking</h2><p>Problem drinkers do not necessarily drink daily or even regularly. In fact, in trying to control their drinking, some problem drinkers often do not drink for long periods of time. If you suspect you or someone you know may have a drinking problem, please read <a href="">Help and treatment for your addiction </a>or <a href="">Help and treatment for an ad​dicted loved one</a>.</p><p>For advice and support on alcohol dependence, 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).</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Teen drinking </h2><p>It is important for both parents and teens to understand the risks of underage drinking. For young people, alcohol is often the drug of choice – even those who do not want to drink can feel pressurised by their peers to do so.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p>You have to be 18 or older to drink legally. Underage drinkers caught with alcohol are breaking the law. This is a serious offence. </p></div></div><p> <b>Compared to those who avoid alcohol, young people who drink are more likely to:</b> </p><ul><li>become sexually active at an earlier age;</li><li>have unprotected sex;</li><li>be victims of violent crime such as rape, assault and robbery; and</li><li>have problems with school work.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info quickstat"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Quick stat</h4><p>Someone who starts drinking as a young teen is four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence (addiction) than someone who waits until adulthood to use alcohol.</p></div></div><p>To understand some of the patterns of addiction that may affect your teenager, read <a href="">Warning signs someone you love is addicted</a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Drinking and driving </h2><p>South Africa’s Central Drug Authority reports more than 6 000 people die each year on our roads because of alcohol. Many of these deaths are children.</p><p> <b>Legal limits</b><br> The legal limit to drive is a breath alcohol content (BAC) of 0,24 mg per 1 000 ml, or a blood alcohol limit (BAL) of 0,05 g per 100 ml. The limit is less than you think.</p><p> <b>According to the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, this means:</b> </p><ul><li>two-thirds of a beer or spirit cooler per hour (with an alcohol content of 5%);</li><li>75 ml of red or white wine per hour (with an alcohol content of 12% to 14%); and</li><li>a 25 ml tot of whisky or brandy per hour. </li></ul><p>We created a graphic to show you just how little alcohol it takes to put you over the legal limit.</p> <span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:936px;" />​ </figure></span> <p> <b>Know your facts</b></p><ul><li>An adult body takes at least an hour to get rid of one unit of alcohol. If you are going to drink, limit yourself to one unit an hour.</li><li>Even one unit of alcohol will affect your ability to drive. Avoid driving after any alcohol consumption.</li><li>Women are affected by alcohol more easily than men.</li><li>Doing physical exercise, drinking coffee or taking a cold shower does not bring your blood alcohol level down. The liver breaks down alcohol at a steady rate, so the only solution is to wait.</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Drinking and pregnancy</h2><p>If you drink while pregnant, the alcohol enters your bloodstream and makes its way to your unborn baby. Alcohol can cause permanent brain damage in your unborn child.</p><p> Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is a general term for a group of disorders found in the babies of mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy. The most severe form of the condition is known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FASD is not curable, but it is 100% preventable. The best solution? Do not drink while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.</p><p> <strong>A child born with FASD may: </strong></p><ul><li>be small for his/her age;</li><li>be born with abnormal facial features and damaged organs;</li><li>experience lifelong behavioural difficulties, learning disabilities, and hearing and sight problems due to brain damage from alcohol;</li><li>suffer from hyperactivity and poor judgement (such as struggling to understand that actions have consequences);</li><li>have poor motor skills (coordination);</li><li>struggle with mathematics, working with numbers and concentration; and</li><li>have difficulty with social communication and relationships.</li></ul><p>Drinking while breastfeeding is equally risky. Your baby will take in the alcohol through your breast milk, which can also interfere with the development of the child’s brain.</p><p>For more information, please visit the <a href="">FASD website<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Missed opportunities</h2><p>The cost of addiction can be measured in terms of money as well as missed opportunities. We have created an infographic to show how an alcohol addiction can rob a person and their family of a meaningful life.</p> <span> <div class="infographic bg-font-adjust-bg">​​​​​​​​​ <figure> <img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" /></figure> <figcaption> <p> <span class="infoGraphicSpan">INFOGRAPHIC<br>​​<strong>COST OF DRUGS - Alcohol</strong></span></p> <a title="Cost of alcohol download" class="btn dark-blue" href="" target="_blank"><i class="icon download"></i>Download PDF</a> </figcaption> </div></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Get help</h2><p>If you can’t stop drinking, you don’t have to struggle alone. Visit our page <a href="">Help and treatment for your addiction</a> to find out what your options are or go straight to our clinics listing page and <a href="">find a clinic </a>that offers drug and alcohol support programmes.</p><p>For the latest research by the Foundation for Alcohol-Related Research, visit the <a href="">FARR website<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>.</p>GP0|#6f910dc4-006d-49fa-995a-068e8a5a1e23;L0|#06f910dc4-006d-49fa-995a-068e8a5a1e23|The dangers of alcohol;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#4aca2abc-1f61-493a-9343-0924e5d18a84;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beaf;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#d62d192f-defa-41a6-bcfa-dbe5b9596734;L0|#0d62d192f-defa-41a6-bcfa-dbe5b9596734|The dangers of alcohol;GPP|#58938866-2da3-46ed-91ed-db2968a790ab;GPP|#063a6668-d6cb-4c45-adaf-f559697b85fd;GP0|#27bc0bae-1be5-4626-ba42-cb63ed018b3f;L0|#027bc0bae-1be5-4626-ba42-cb63ed018b3f|The dangers of alcohol;GPP|#e85039f8-e351-41e6-9f99-64689ae52b08;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752Drinking alcohol is seen as a socially acceptable activity, but for some people it becomes a problem.



Cost of Drugs - Alcohol Infographic Poster1933484GP0|#f10f836d-5770-43e9-a733-7b3eee03d477;L0|#0f10f836d-5770-43e9-a733-7b3eee03d477|Infographic;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e;GP0|#591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6;L0|#0591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6|Poster2016-07-31T22:00:00Z
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
IDP 2012-2017 Annexure E: Position On Alcohol and Drugs Policy and 2011-2014 Alcohol and Other Drug Harm Minimization and Mitigation Strategy942137GP0|#5db45e03-11ad-46df-a726-f58d2c5136a3;L0|#05db45e03-11ad-46df-a726-f58d2c5136a3|IDP annexure;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#4a698fa1-48a1-4def-afa7-749a0e063169;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-09-30T22:00:00Z
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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