A lot is happening in our midst under this Covid-19, a number of places have been open, including the bars, and a lot is happening in the lives of people concerning their addictions to beer and substance abuse.
A large number is emerging as addicts in our society today, and it’s a pity the stuff they are taking, heavy codeine intakes, and alcoholic stuff with almost 95 percent alcohol.
Addiction — nobody expects it to happen, nobody wants it, and certainly, nobody signs up for it. If there were a sign-up sheet, it likely wouldn’t mention the downsides. But there are downsides, a lot of them perhaps more than one realises. Using drugs often starts with just having a good time, or perhaps it is to escape from something, be it pain, people, life or the world. But as one continues to use, it becomes less fun. It is no longer a choice, but an imperative.
You can’t stop, you don’t want to, or you don’t know how to. It takes over your life and it becomes the only thing you can’t go a moment without thinking about.
Unless you are making your drugs, you never know for sure what you’re getting, what it has been cut with, or how much you’re getting. It is a roll of the dice. Perhaps you know people who got “a bad batch,” or perhaps even died.
When you start using more and more, your chances of survival become less and less. Whether they are little lies or big lies, they are constant and your survival begins to depend on it. With it comes the anxiety, the depression — consistently experiencing that awful feeling of almost getting caught. It’s an unpleasant way to live, always sitting at the edge of your seat.
Say you did get caught, as most addicts do, family and friends might not trust you anymore, they will always be watching you every day. They might even start excluding you from family gatherings, holidays and birthdays. You can become the outcast.
Drugs are not just a personal choice, they affect everyone around you. Lying and stealing hurts those around you, it damages relationships, it hurts those you care about. Drugs affect you both mentally and physically and in negative ways. They inhibit your ability to think, sometimes long term. They affect your ability or desire to perform physically.
Besides being open to the possibility of physical illness, drugs also affect your brain functions. Many individuals actually reported an increase in depression, anxiety, and other mental illness after they started abusing substances.
You lose interest in things you once enjoyed. You lose touch with friends or family. You seclude yourself from everyone and the only thing you start working towards is your next high. Nothing else matters.
If you know someone on drugs and they need help call 0772399734 or email [email protected] and join the Rechabites and the Innercity Mission in creating a drug- free society.
Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug and substance abuse specialist, addictions counsellor, adolescent counsellor, professional counsellor.