Most Commonly Abused Substances in South Africa

  • January 9, 2017

This is a listing of the most frequent used and abused substances in South Africa. A misconception held by many is that drug addiction is limited to illegal substances.

The list below outlines a range of addictive drugs which for the most part consist of prescription medications that you can pick up at your local pharmacy. To think that alcohol or prescription medications are any less harmful or addictive than street drugs is another great misconception. While the production processes and distribution channels may be better regulated, the net effect of substance addiction is the much same irrespective of the substance, alcohol included.

Misunderstanding Substance Addiction

The stark reality is that drug addiction is by no means a moral failing or an isolated occurrence. Here are some contentious statistics quite widely accepted within the addiction recovery community.

  • 1 in 10 people are addicted to some drug and / or have the ability to become an addict to some drug or another.
  • Conversely this means that 90% of people who take illegal, prescription or over the counter medication DO NOT DEVELOP AN ADDICTION.
  • For the 10% of people that do become addicted to a substance only 10% of those individuals will seek professional help, at some point.
  • In other words 1 in every 100 people seek professional treatment for drug addiction.

These stats are highly contentious and frequently disputed however when you take into consideration that “addiction is a hidden disease” the numbers are crudely plausible.

The reality is that people don’t walk around openly admitting to being addicts and what know is that addiction is prevalent across a broad range of “socially accepted” and widely used substances (alcohol, prescription drugs, etc).

Furthermore many individuals don’t see their addiction as a problem as they benchmark their use against “the norms” that make sense to themselves as individuals and not by what defines addiction.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary Definition : “A compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance”.

In most addiction literature it is defined as a “brain disease” whereby “mind altering” chemicals in addictive drugs “reprogram” long lasting and even permanent changes to the brain function that lead to potential harmful and often self-destructive, behaviors.

In complex social environments the spectrum for diagnosed substance addiction disorders is almost infinite. Self-destructive behaviors visible to friends and family are usually the hallmarks of a developed or developing addiction.

For many individuals addiction recovery becomes an only and essential point of survival. The reality is that ADDICTION is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease if left untreated.

“Treatment” is another tricky thing to define.

The way in which someone behaves towards or deals with someone or something or medical care given to a patient for an illness or injury.

The way in which addiction is currently treated at Recovery Direct starts off with the dealing with the physical substance detox, then getting to the core or what fuels and drives the addiction from a psychological standpoint.

Spiritual addiction recovery and punitive punishment methods can be detrimental to the long term outcomes of patients that are forced into sobriety without the right supports.

It is important to know that ALL substance addiction cases are treatable. With the right support in place anyone can recover.

Complete List of Addictions Substance and Behavioural,
Alcohol / Liquor Addiction, Approval, Over The Counter Medications, (Aerosol Sniffing / Thinners / Solvents), (Adrenalin / Risk Taking / Chaos / Crime / Drama / Kleptomania), Amphetamines, Antidepressants, Anime, Applause, (Bulimia / Vomiting / Food / Over eating), Barbiturates, Betting / Gambling Addiction, Beastiality, Body Building, Caffeine / Coffee, Cannabis, Carbohydrates, Chocolate, CodependencyCocaine and Crack Cocaine Addiction, Collecting / Hoarding, Drugs, Diuretics, Ego, Energy Drinks, Excessive Exercising, Endorphins, Fantasizing, Feelings, Fetishes, Hashish, Heroin Addiction, Isolation, Internet, Job or Work Addiction, Kinky sex, (Marijuana / Dagga / Cannabis / Weed Addiction), Masturbation, Masochism, Muscle Relaxants, Narcotics, Nicotine, Over the Counter Medications, Prescription Drug Addiction, Pornography, People Pleasing, Perfectionism, Pain Killer Addiction, Relationship, Sedatives, Sex Addiction, Sadism, Shopping, Serotonin, Self Mutilation, Sleeping Pills, Speed, Spousal or Child Abuse, Steroid, Sugar, Television, THC, Tramadol, Tranquilizers, Ultram, Valium, Vicodin, Violence, Voyeurism, Weightlifting