That’s a question many people are asking now that dagga is legal for private use in South Africa. There were a lot of funny memes doing the rounds on social media when the news broke in September 2018 but the bigger debate is, “is South Africa courting the devil”? Marijuana, weed, cannabis, dope, dagga… whatever you call it, tends to be used as a social drug and it’s seen as a ‘soft drug’. Supposedly, it’s harmless and not addictive, and certainly less harmful than hardtack alcohol and less addictive than cigarettes. Is it? Or is it a gateway drug that leads to harder and more destructive drug addiction?
This is a question only you can answer and it’s not the easiest thing to do. Unless you’ve got to a really bad place in your life and risk losing everything; you can go a long time thinking, “I can handle this”. But in the end, the drugs you’re using will end up controlling you. Here’s a list of questions that were drawn up by recovering addicts as part of their recovery programme. They’re blunt questions with no sugar coating. All you need to do is answer them honestly.
Non-religious addicts or addicts who practise a different religion are as likely to benefit from the programme; particularly, as part of an after-care programme where the 12-step programme can help to reinforce what they’ve discovered about themselves in rehab. Like them or hate them, AA-type meetings have been around for decades and have been life-saving for countless people.
An intervention is often a last-gasp attempt to convince a loved one struggling with addiction to get help. They’ve become more and more popular over the last 20 years and given rise to reality TV shows where families are filmed confronting a son or daughter in the grip of a drug or alcohol addiction.
Studies show that at least 50% of people living with a mental illness have a substance abuse problem. Similarly, more than half of the people battling with alcohol and drug addiction have a common mental health disorder.
Harry arrived at White River Manor seeking help for executive burnout. It had been a hard, exhausting year with excessive stress building up month after month. A short stint in a calm, tranquil environment was what he needed to escape the relentless pressures of work and get back on track physically, mentally and emotionally. Healthy meals and exercise would do the trick. So he thought.