Types Of Drug Addiction in South Africa

Widely used drugs in South Africa 

drug addictionSouth Africa is witnessing the scourge of addiction as the youth grows dependent on mind-altering substances.

We’re going to tell you about the Types Of Drug Addiction in South Africa. This is because alcohol and drugs are becoming easier to get hold of, some may say that it is easier for a teenager to get drugs then it is to get alcohol.

In the communication and technological age, illegal substances are easier to find and easier to purchase. What many people overlook is the fact that addiction is a disease. There is also hope for addicts in the grip of this progressive illness. Treatment is available for all addictions, from heroin addiction to alcoholism. Recovery is possible.

Drug and alcohol abuse is on the rise worldwide.


Stimulants/ Uppers

Crack, MDMA, Ecstasy, crystal meth, kat, tik and cocaine are just a few examples of uppers. Uppers or stimulants dangerously increase the heart rate and stimulate the brain. Many people use these substances to feel more powerful, energised and awake.

Ten Typical signs of stimulant abuse include:

  1. High levels of energy
  2. Irritability
  3. Dilated pupils
  4. Insomnia
  5. Talkativeness
  6. Excitability
  7. Anxiety
  8. Paranoia
  9. Hyperactivity
  10. Reduced appetite or no appetite


Heroin, nyaope (which is heroin), codeine, alcohol, tranquilizers and mandrax are examples of downers. These substances delay certain brain functions, slowing or delaying the user’s mobility and speech. In cases such as heroin and alcohol, the user becomes physically addicted to the substance and has to let their body slowly detox from the substance. This is a painful but necessary process.

Nine Typical signs of downer abuse include:

  1. Pinpoint pupils
  2. Drowsiness
  3. Dry mouth
  4. Shallow Breathing
  5. Sleeping
  6. Confusion
  7.  constantly/ passing out
  8. Inability to concentrate
  9. Heaviness of the limbs


These include: LSD, PCP, magic mushrooms, weed (which is usually referred to as a downer but carries qualities of both types of drugs).These substances distort reality, plunging the user into a world of distortion, dreams, colours and sounds. Some of these substances create auditory and visual hallucinations, sending the user into a state of absolute delusion and confusion. These drugs may seem harmless at first but long term abuse can lead to lifelong psychological problems.

Eight Typical signs of hallucinogen abuse:

  1.  Dilated pupils
  2.  Irrational behaviour
  3. Distorted sense of sight
  4.  Distorted sense of sound
  5.   Mood swings
  6. Anxiety
  7.  Paranoia
  8.  Severe confusion

These are just a few examples of addiction. Other types of addictions include: sex addiction, eating disorders, steroid abuse, prescription medication addiction and more…
It is vital that we as a society educate ourselves on the severity of addiction. If you suspect yourself, a loved one or a colleague is suffering with this illness, do the research.

Find out what treatments are available and what support groups are in the area. Reach out, ask for help and recognise that the human spirit can endure even the toughest of battles.

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