Drawing The Short Straw – Crystal Meth (Tik) in South Africa

Don’t kid yourself. There is nothing cool about one of South Africa’s most addictive substances. Methamphetamine, or more colloquially Tik, is a self-destructive drug that often results in people seeking professional medical and psychological care to break the addictive cycle of abuse.

How To Help a Loved One 

The increase in meth abuse in South Africa alone makes for disturbing statistics. Tik is also listed as one of the most abused and dangerous street drugs around. It is fair to say there are countless people caught in a desperate trap.

For the addict, addiction is a lonely hell. For parents and other loved ones it is often a confusing condition that destroys families and friendships. Only resulting in further isolation and trauma, fuelling helplessness and relapse.

The risk of addiction is influenced by a combination of factors.


  • Individual biology (genetics, personality, traumatic life events).
  • Social environment (interaction with friends, family, colleagues in the work environment).
  • Age or stage of development and psychological maturity.

Addiction is often considered the culmination of trauma and a genetic predisposition to substance abuse, making early detection and intervention vital to long term recovery. Discussing possible drug use with anyone is a sensitive topic but intervention can save a life. Recovery Direct offers a unique approach and extensive after care which is core to relapse prevention. Find out more about our addiction treatment and recovery programmes.

Early Intervention And Rehab Centres

Early intervention is still the best chance of a better life. Recovery Direct is a private recovery centre and applies a continuum of care based on the individual needs of each patient.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed but Recovery Direct offers a safe environment and have a dedicated team of recovery and addiction counsellors that offer a holistic, caring approach designed to make the first step in recovery an easy one.  We understand reaching out for help can be difficult and have dedicated ourselves to guiding patients through recovery. Every admission for drug addiction is confidential with the patients welfare front of mind.

Warning Signs To Look Out For

Dealing with substance abuse or even talking about addiction needs to be handled with respect. Vital to the recovery process is purposeful extraction from the pressures of daily life, so affording patients a safe place to start the healing process.

If you or a loved one is in trouble, contact the centre today and speak to a counsellor.

Look for these indicators of possible Tik abuse:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Changes in appearance (clothes, body hygiene)
  • Erratic behaviour (aggression, over-confidence, violence)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hyperactivity and rapid speech
  • Symptoms of psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Drug paraphernalia: light bulbs, glass straws

Keep Your Head Up, Get Help Along The Way

Crystal meth can be damaging in several ways. Other than the purely physical effects and the toil it takes on a person’s body, drug abuse has a profound psychological effect on the addict.

Most street drugs are cut with other toxic substances. These additives vary from talcum power to battery acid. The manufacturing process is so unrefined that the user never knows what they are taking which can lead to accidental overdose.

Tolerance develops quickly, which means that higher doses of the drug need to be used to get the same effect, and / or that the drug needs to be taken more frequently or in different ways.

Chronic abuse can lead to out-of-control rages, violence, anxiety, confusion, mood disturbances and insomnia. One of the most frightening findings about meth suggests that its prolonged use not only modifies behaviours, but literally changes the brain in fundamental and long-lasting ways.

Booking Into A Recovery Centre

Addiction hardly ever happens in a day. Drug abuse often follows an escalating trajectory to the point where intervention becomes paramount to saving a patient’s life. This said, on-going therapy after primary treatment and detoxification is just as important.

Recovery Direct is a specialist addiction treatment centre based in Constantia, Cape Town. Our non-punitive methodology caters for wide range of behaviour modification therapies. These include treatment for comorbidities such as other so-called process addictions like gambling or sex.

Make the choice. It is possible to recover from tik addiction. Give us a call, we can help you. We’re on-call 24/7 on  079 235 7415. For international callers please contact us on +27 79 235 7415.