Alcohol is a depressant, which slows your body down, making it difficult to think more clearly, interfering with communication between brain cells. Long-term heavy drinking is associated with numerous health problems, including liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, cancers of the liver, mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus and may lead to high blood pressure.
Legally prescribed for medical use, barbiturates are used for sedatives, hypnotics, anaesthetics and anticonvulsants. Users can develop a physical and psychological tolerance over time, making overdose a dangerous possibility.
Benzodiazepines are often used therapeutically to produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and to prevent seizures.
Continued use can lead to physical and psychological dependence and addiction. Users need to increase doses to achieve the desired effect, eventually finding themselves unable to sleep without them.
Powerfully addictive, cocaine users feel euphoric, talkative and mentally alert. Long-term snorting may cause the nose cartilage to dissolve. Over time, ingestion of the drug can lead to paranoid psychosis and even death.
The most abused and rapidly acting opiate available, heroin provides users with a sense of euphoria. Over time, users may develop collapsed veins, abscesses, liver disease, pulmonary complications or even death.
A weak opiate derived from codeine and typically combined with acetaminophen, hydrocodone is legally prescribed for pain relief and habit forming. Over time, vicodin causes the brain to slow and, in some cases, cease to produce endorphins, resulting in severe pain without it.
Inhalants produce effects similar to alcohol. The substances used are found in common household products, such as glues, lighter fluid, cleaning fluids and paint products. Chronic use of inhalants has been associated with a number of serious health problems, including sometimes irreversible damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.
The short-term effects of LSD are unpredictable and depend on the amount of the drug taken, the user’s personality, mood, expectations and surroundings. Over time, users may also develop long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression..
Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drug in South Africa. Users may also experience pleasant sensations, colours and sounds, or sleepiness and/or depression. Users can also experience anxiety, fear, panic and distrust.
MDMA is an illegal drug that produces an energizing effect, along with distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment form tactile experiences. It also creates feelings of closeness, empathy, sexuality and reduced inhibitions.
Ecstasy is addictive and can lead to long-term damage to neurons that are immediately related to mood, thinking and judgment. A study in nonhuman primates shows that exposure to MDMA for only 4 days caused damage to serotonin nerve terminals that was still evident 6 years later. Research has shown it to be unsafe for human consumption.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive synthetic drug containing potent central nervous system stimulant properties. Long-term meth use can cause functional and molecular changes to the brain. Use can lead to violent behaviour, anxiety, confusion and insomnia. Tik is presently devastating the young people of South African townships.
Oxycodone is an opiate derived from morphine and is legally prescribed for pain relief. Users can suffer withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing alone. Supervised medical detox is a necessity.
Steroids are man-made substances linked to testosterone and often abused, which can lead to violent tendencies and cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, even in athletes under the age of 30.
Addiction comes in many different forms, including prescription drug abuse. Alcohol and drug addictions are unique in their own right and treatment is determined upon specific drug of choice. The Vincere-Huguenot has different addiction treatment programs tailored to unique individuals.
Are conditions defined by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual’s physical and mental health. Bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are the most common specific forms of eating disorder.
Is characterised by feelings of powerlessness over sexual thoughts and behaviours and that a preoccupation with sex is causing progressively severe adverse consequences for us, our families, and our friends. Despite many failed promises to ourselves and attempts to change, sufferers are unable to stop acting out sexually by themselves.
Often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others Co-dependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Co-dependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. It is often the case that co-dependency and substance abuse go hand-in-hand. It could be the alcoholic or drug addict that suffers co-dependency or the addict’s partner, parent or relative. This issue can have significant consequences for the sufferer, with physical, emotional and relationship problems that can have a severe impact on daily living. Sometimes an addict’s co-dependent loved one will act like more of an enabler for the addict’s behaviour by vouching for them if they skip work, for example.