Substance abuse warning

2017-12-13 06:00
PHOTO: sourced

PHOTO: sourced

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ACCORDING to statistics, three in 10 South Africans will be involved in an alcohol or other substance-related car accident at some time in their lives.

SAPS caution the public about the irresponsible use of alcohol or any substance, and the negative effects thereof on the well-being of the family, especially over the festive season.

As the holiday season with its many social activities approaches, it is recommended that one should: Practice safe and moderate consumption of alcohol or any other potential, harmful substance and not spoil your or your family’s enjoyment by irresponsible substance abuse.


• Most people look at the holidays as a happy season, a season where you can catch up with loved ones and friends you have not seen all year. However, this time can be the most stressful and dangerous for those who suffer from mental health and addiction problems.

• In a family where the father, mother or any member of the family misuses or abuses alcohol, all members experience stress and fears of various kinds.

• Family life might become almost unbearable and members may become traumatised to varying degrees, because they can never predict the substance misuser or abuser’s behaviour.

• Family members often have to cope with the confusing, unpredictable and unpleasantness of life with a father, mother or other member of the family who misuses or abuses alcohol. Their unpredictability is much likely to be disruptive and restricting the family’s capacity to plan activities or stick to familiar routines.

• This can have a negative effect on personal finances and result in poor health and relationships ending.

• Couple or family conflict may result in violent behaviour that can easily result in domestic violence, which eventually may even result in separation or a divorce.

• Excessive drinking can impair functioning as a parent, as a partner, as a family member and as a contributor to the family’s well-being.

• If a mother, father or any member of the family abuses alcohol, they might become unwilling or unable to participate in family events and other family members would rather withdraw from family gatherings than risk possible embarrassment, should either of the family members become intoxicated.

• Parents and other family members, who misuse or abuse alcohol, often have mood swings and squander the family’s money on alcohol with little or no regard for the daily needs of the family.

The following tips are recommendations for a safe festive season:

• Do not drink and drive, use heavy machinery or combine alcohol with any other medication. Alcohol impairs the ability to react, causes drowsiness and affects judgement.

• People in recovery from an alcohol-related disorder, should not drink at all – as even small quantities of alcohol typically lead to relapse.

• People who are younger than the legal drinking age, should not consume any alcohol.

• Pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant should not drink at all. Alcohol consumption interferes with the growth and development of the fetus, causing reduced birth weight, birth defects, learning and behaviour disorders and distress of the newborn.

• For most adults, moderate alcohol use – up to a maximum of two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people – generally does not result in health problems. However, alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is a progressive disorder and a high percentage of people in the age group 12 or older is classified as being dependent on alcohol or had abused alcohol. - Supplied.

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