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The dangers of drugs<h2 class="sectHeading">We are all affected</h2><p> <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0"></span>As seen in our powerful “I have a drug problem” campaign, drugs affect every single resident, community and business in Cape Town – not just those who are addicted or abusing drugs. </p><p>We offer free Matrix-certified drug and alcohol outpatient support programmes at some of our clinics and healthcare facilities. 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>. With the right knowledge and attitude, drug addiction in our communities is something we can all fight. </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>Drug users often use more than one type of drug at a time. Most substance abuse cases treated in the Western Cape involve methamphetamine (tik), alcohol, cannabis (dagga) and heroin. This is according to a <a href="" target="_blank">SACENDU<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> report that studied 32 treatment centres/programmes in the Cape between July and December 2013.<br></p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Types of drugs</h2><p>Although people with drug problems may choose to take various drug combinations, there are three main drug types.</p> <span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:775px;" />​ </figure></span> <p> <b>Stimulants (‘uppers’)</b><br><b>Examples:</b> tobacco, appetite suppressants, ephedrine (found in decongestants and asthma medication), cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamines (such as tik) and amphetamine-type substances (such as MDMA/ecstasy)<br><b>How do they make you feel?</b> They speed up the central nervous system. In the short term, the user experiences an immediate ‘high’, a feeling of well-being, mental clarity, and increased energy.</p><p> <b>Depressants (‘downers’)</b><br><b>Examples:</b> alcohol, inhalants (such as glue and lacquer thinners), analgesics or painkillers, tranquillisers, sleeping pills and narcotics (such as opium, morphine, heroin and codeine)<br><b>How do they make you feel?</b> They slow down the central nervous system, making the user feel calmer and more in control.</p><p> <b>Hallucinogens</b><br><b>Examples:</b> dagga, LSD, ‘magic mushrooms’<br><b>How do they make you feel?</b> They cause feelings of euphoria and the user often sees, hears and smells things that are not really there.</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>It’s not only illegal drugs that can be addictive.</p></div></div><p>Over-the-counter medication (cough and cold medicines as well as painkillers that contain codeine) and prescription medication (sedatives and tranquillisers that contain benzodiazepine) can be addictive if misused. This is also true for certain indigenous plants, solvents (glues, gases, aerosols, paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids) and inhalants (butane lighters, propane tanks, refrigerants, spray paint, deodorant sprays, hair sprays).</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Cape Town’s most common street drugs</h2><p>Cape Town is most affected by the following common street drugs.</p><p> <b>Methamphetamine (tik)</b><br><b>Also known as:</b> ice, speed, meth<br><b>How it’s used:</b> swallowed, injected, snorted or smoked<br><b>Short-term effects:</b> increased energy, decreased appetite, euphoria, faster breathing, rapid/irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature (hyperthermia)<br><b>Long-term effects:</b> anxiety, confusion, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, violent behaviour, insomnia, slower movements, impaired verbal learning, memory loss, weight loss, severe dental problems (‘meth mouth’), skin sores, strokes</p><p> <b>Marijuana (dagga)</b><br><b>Also known as:</b> weed, dope, grass, hash, pot, boom, Mary Jane, herb, reefer, skunk<br><b>How it’s used:</b> smoked, brewed into tea, or mixed into foods<br><b>Short-term effects:</b> ‘high’ or feeling of relaxation, altered senses (for example colours seem brighter), altered sense of time, mood changes, less control over body, difficulty with thinking and problem-solving, impaired memory, breathing problems, increased heart rate<br><b>Long-term effects:</b> memory and learning problems, hallucinations, delusions and depersonalisation (when your thoughts or feelings do not feel like they are your own)</p><p> <b>Heroin</b><br><b>Also known as:</b> dope, skunk, ungah<br><b>How it’s used:</b> injected, smoked or snorted<br><b>Short-term effects:</b> euphoria, dry mouth, flushed skin, ‘foggy’ brain, alternating between feeling very awake and drowsy<br><b>Long-term effects:</b> collapsed veins, sores, constipation, cramping, liver disease, kidney disease, heart complications, overdose can cause brain damage or death </p><p> <b>Cocaine</b><br><b>Also known as:</b> blow, coke, nose candy, rocks <br> <b>How it’s used:</b> snorted, injected or smoked <br> <b>Short-term effects:</b> exhilaration, euphoria, hyperactivity, self-confidence, heightened awareness, increased energy, decreased appetite, increased body temperature, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure <br> <b>Long-term effects:</b> headaches, nose bleeds (when snorted), stomach pain, nausea, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, auditory hallucinations (hearing things that are not really there), heart attacks, strokes, seizures</p><p> <b>Mandrax</b><br><b>Also known as:</b> whites, buttons, MX, flowers<br><b>How it’s used:</b> often crushed, mixed with dagga and then smoked<br><b>Short-term effects:</b> feeling of relaxation or happiness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, falling over, passing out, aggression when the high wears off<br><b>Long-term effects:</b> weaker immune system, convulsions, mental and physical deterioration, breathing becomes slower, leading to respiratory failure, coma or death</p><p> <em>Sources: Western Cape Department of Social Development’s “Resources and Services Directory for the Reduction of Harmful Drug & Alcohol Use”. Read more at <a href="">Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre<i class="icon link-external"></i></a></em></p><h2 class="sectHeading">Cost of addiction</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 a tik addiction can rob a person 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">PDF<br>​​<strong>the cost of drugs - tik</strong></span></p> <a title="the cost of drugs" class="btn dark-blue" href="" target="_blank"> <i class="icon download"></i>Download PDF</a> </figcaption> </div></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Drugs and crime</h2><p>Drugs not only destroy lives, families and communities, but they also often lead to serious crimes.</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> According to a 2007 report by the prisoner’s aid association NICRO, just under half of all male prisoners in Cape Town consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of, or before committing, their most recent crime. </p></div></div><p> Some more quick facts about drugs:</p><ul><li>According to the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cape Town has one of the highest rates of methamphetamine (tik) addiction in the world.</li><li>A City of Cape Town study (2013) showed that Cape Town’s drug-related crime rate was four times higher than the average rate for the rest of South Africa.</li><li>In 2010, two in five schools in Cape Town reported the presence of drug dealers and drug peddling on the school premises.</li><li>Drug dealers are smart. A new trend shows smaller amounts of drugs are being hidden with children and mothers in ‘ordinary’ households (as opposed to storing and selling the drugs at specific drug houses). This makes it more difficult for police to find and arrest drug dealers.</li><p> <em>Source: </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Blueprint: Modernisation Programme: Work stream on Substance Abuse (2010)</em><span class="icon link-external"></span><em>​</em></a></p></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Drugs and gangsterism</h2><p>Drugs are a central part of the ‘gang economy’ (how gangs make money). Unfortunately, some individuals and families rely on the drug economy for an income, making them reluctant to report drug dealers, who then continue with their illegal business.</p><p>If you see drugs and drug dealers in your community, please tell us (anonymously, if you prefer). If we stand together, we have a real chance to make a difference. Anyone caught with drugs and charged for ‘possession’ will have a criminal record.</p><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>You can report a dealer or drug-related activity by emailing <em> <a href=""></a></em>. You may also contact 107 Public Emergency Community Centre (PECC) on <em> <strong>107</strong></em> from a landline or <a> <em>021 480 7700</em></a> from a cellphone, or reach out on Twitter at <a href="" target="_blank">@pecc107<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>.​ You can also log a report on our <a href="" target="_blank">service request portal<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> for less urgent matters.<br></p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Drugs and HIV</h2><p>About a third of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS every year contracted it through drug injections. Injection drug users (IDUs) often share syringes, drug solutions and drug preparation equipment, which can lead to HIV transmission. People under the influence of certain drugs (and alcohol) are also more​ likely to get involved in risky sexual behaviour, such as having unprotected sex. This further increases the risk of HIV transmission.</p><p> <em>Source: IDU HIV Prevention – Linking HIV Prevention Services and Substance Abuse Treatment Programs (February 2002) as cited in Western Cape Department of Social Development’s “Resources and Services Directory for the Reduction of Harmful Drug & Alcohol Use”</em></p> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Get help</h2> <p>If you are struggling with a drug problem, you don't have to go it alone. Find out more about the <a href="">help and treatment options available to you</a>, or <a href="">for someone you care about.</a> 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></span>GP0|#055d67d3-ba05-4fc3-84aa-17ec9508f597;L0|#0055d67d3-ba05-4fc3-84aa-17ec9508f597|The dangers of drugs;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|#03ecf927-6482-48bc-8fc5-836043acb4e7;L0|#003ecf927-6482-48bc-8fc5-836043acb4e7|The dangers of drugs;GPP|#58938866-2da3-46ed-91ed-db2968a790ab;GPP|#063a6668-d6cb-4c45-adaf-f559697b85fd;GP0|#55f773e0-91b2-4392-8217-24985479fe06;L0|#055f773e0-91b2-4392-8217-24985479fe06|The dangers of drugs;GPP|#e85039f8-e351-41e6-9f99-64689ae52b08;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752Drugs not only destroy lives, families, and communities – they also often lead to serious crimes.



Cost of Drugs - Tik Infographic Poster1705078GP0|#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
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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