The Way Recovery Insights On The Drug Abuse Stats in South Africa

Drug Abuse remains a growing problem in South Africa with 7.06% of our population abusing narcotics of some kind. One in every 14 people are regular users adding up to a total of 3.74 million people (taken as a percentage of the population as of 2013).

Drug Abuse remains a growing problem in South Africa with 7.06% of our population abusing narcotics of some kind. One in every 14 people are regular users adding up to a total of 3.74 million people (taken as a percentage of the population as of 2013).


Primary Drug of Abuse among Persons treated in South Africa for the year 2013

The above graph breaks down usage statistics among persons treated for addiction in the year 2013 based on their primary drug of choice. Values are based on a percentage of total persons treated for the given year.

Out of all persons treated 18.8% were found to be heroin users and 5.7% used Cocaine on a regular basis, with Methamphetamine users totalling 22.9% and a staggering 38.4% of people were treated for Cannabis dependence. Prescription stimulant dependence made up a total of 5.4% of persons treated with Ecstasy making up 0.3% and Hallucinogen dependence stood at 3.2%.

From a global perspective there are some staggering statistics and while we cannot directly correlate the global numbers to South Africa we do understand that in the population counts of mature markets like the US, UK and Europe there are significant averages on which we can apply relativity simple calculations base some plausible accuracy

It should be noted that different environments pose different challenges. For example in Kwa Zulu Natal in the Durban area (Kwa Mashu) in the so called lower to medium income bracket with poor socio-economic circumstances, drugs such as Dagga and Whoonga pose a problem. Similarly in Gauteng areas with similar socio-economic standings such as Tembisa, the drug of choice was found to be Dagga and Nyaope. In comparison with these findings, we take a look at the so called upper class areas or medium to high income bracket where the drugs of choice are Cocaine, Khat and Crystal Meth just to mention a few of the higher end drugs.
Evidently, The Way Recovery and due to the location of the facility which is situated in the Waterkloof area it appears to be that we are dealing with Alcohol, Crystal Meth, Cocaine and Prescription Medication.
The statement that about 15% of South Africans having a drug problem has been quoted extensively, in a government press release, news headline, addiction rehabilitation groups and among religious drug support groups. Added to this it was founded that 60% of crimes nationally were related to substance abuse.

The Central Drug Authority (CDA) was established as an advisory body in terms of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (Act No. 70 of 2008) and is mandated to assist in the fight against substance abuse in the country.

It should be noted that all these bodies and policy makers are there but the implementation of the programs lacks support and hence lacks success. In accordance to this, first world counties such as America or Europe have better structures in place to cater for substance abuse. They have programs in place for not only the working class but also the family in the form of employee assistance programs / employee health and wellness programs and practitioners. South Africa has tried to adopt these policies but has failed to include the environment from where these substance abuse rise. There appears to be a large gap between the development of policies, the implementation and the monitoring and evaluations thereafter.

At The Way Recovery we focus on not only the recovering addict or suffering addict but the family, support systems and hence focus on a holistic approach assisting the recovering addict.

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