GARDEN ROUTE NEWS & VIDEO - The South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) is not allowing Covid-19 to overshadow public awareness of the scourge of addiction.
Running its Kick Your Habit campaign again this year, they are creating awareness of the complexities related to addiction by encouraging citizens to "kick" a personal habit for one week.
Sanca George director, Denise de Beer, says the goal is to build awareness through experience. "By challenging individuals within our communities to stop doing/using one 'thing' or habit for a week, they will experience, albeit briefly, what a substance dependent might be going through when addressing their addiction."
Funky shoes to kick the habit
Kick Your Habit takes place from 22 to 26 June, as part of drug awareness month. Sanca George challenges everyone to participate by wearing a funky pair of shoes for the week to kick your habit and to share it on social media.
De Beer explains: "Your first step will be to choose a pair of shoes. Secondly, you will choose a 'thing' or habit that you will be kicking - coffee, tobacco, shopping, social media, etc. It is important to consider your choice and select the habit that you can identify using on a regular basis. Lastly, you decide on what new habit you want to develop - reading, walking or running, gardening, etc."
Watch a video below:
Addicted at 11
Substance dependency statistics show that drug consumption in South Africa is twice the global average and the highest in Africa. The average age of drug dependency in South Africa is 12 years and this age is decreasing. During 2019/20 the youngest service user of Sanca George was 11 years old.
For every 100 people, 15 have a drug problem and for every R100 in circulation, R25 is linked to a substance abuse problem. Alcohol and drug dependency is often linked to other social ills, such as violence, crime, child abuse and neglect, as well as health problems such as HIV and mental illness.
As of 2017, it is reported that South Africa has the highest prevalence of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) disorders in the world. The youth are particularly vulnerable to experimentation and long-term use of alcohol and other drugs. This is also evident in the statistics of Sanca George for 2019/20, which show that 55% of new service users were aged between 13 and 25.
De Beer says though substance abuse is an endemic problem in the country, many South Africans know very little about the problem and how it might affect them personally. "Many people are unaware of the difficulties faced by substance dependents when first entering treatment and the long-term fight that will be faced over the years after treatment.
"Addiction is far more complex than a simple choice to use or not to use."
More information is available on their Facebook Page and Instagram. You can also contact their office on 044 884 0674 or email@example.com for more information.
* Sanca is a non-profit organisation that is committed to the prevention and treatment of drug dependence within all nine provinces of South Africa. Sanca George is proud to be a member of this national body and has been serving the community of George for more than 25 years,
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