@SANCA Horizon will be hosting a fundraising auction, this time with a difference... To find out how your school or company can benefit, or how you can be involved contact us!!
@We boast with a new programme, The Meditox. Contact us to find out if your client, loved one, patient or colleague can benefit.
@POPPETS puppet show for Drug and Alcohol prevention is available to Pre-primary schools in Boksburg
@Onsite drug testing available for companies.
17 North street
T: (011) 917 5015/6/7
F: (011) 917 1106
The Process of Addiction
Have you ever wondered how it happens that a person becomes an addict, when it seems that they have everything going for them? Have you ever wondered why a person continues to use drugs or alcohol if they know how damaging it is?
These questions have no short answer and can best be explained by the process of addiction. There are 4 phases in the process of addiction.1 During the first phase a person learns the mood swing caused by the substance. Alcohol, cigarettes, inhalants and dagga are most commonly used in this phase. A person is considered an experimental user during this phase. It is characterised by occasional use and the user usually doesn’t over-indulge. For an adult this type of use is not problematic and the adult can remain in this phase for his entire life. It is considered responsible drinking. However for a minor, substance abuse in this phase is usually paired with lying about his use.
2 The second phase a person is aware of the “benefits” of using, i.e. the pleasureable effect that substance use causes, intoxication, giggling, relaxation, etc. During this phase the user seeks those pleasurable effects. Substance use increases in frequency and amounts. The person becomes tolerant to the substance and needs more to get the same effect. It is still considered experimental use. Frequency of use increases to weekly use, usually with friends and on social occasions. Occassions may be arranged for excessive use, e.g. after-parties, unsupervised teenage parties, braai’s, etc. Matric vacations and typical student life are common examples of phase 2 using. The user may experiment with other substances/drugs, other than that in the first phase. Emotional addiction may set in. Some behavioural and mood changes occur. Teenagers may begin to
change their group of friends, productivity and school performance drops, absenteeism starts, change in attitude towards authority and change in place the substance user frequents.
3 During the third phase the user becomes obsessive with the feeling created by the substance. This is no longer considered experimental use, but high risk using. Tolerance builds and using increases in frequency and amounts. The user has a clear drug of choice. Definite changes in friends, appearance, attitude and “hangouts”. This phase is further recognised by poor school performance and productivity, absenteeism, dropping extra-curricular activities, lying, pety crimes, eg. Stealing. Definite emotional addiction and early physical addiction. The person frequently uses alone and isolates himself from friends and family. They appear to lose interest in their environment. Legal, financial problems, as well as problems at work or school manifests.
4 Physical addiction has now set in. The person is unable to function physically without the use of a substance. Emotional numbness, anger outbursts, violence, depression. When not using the person withdraws. The purpose of using is to prevent withdrawal symptoms. The user rarely finds pleasure in using. Participation in crime to maintain addiction. The person is unable to keep up with demands from work or school and either drops out, resigns or gets fired or expelled.
In order to resolve this last phase, a person has to stop and change his thoughts, attitude, behaviour and lifestyle. An addict remains and addict for the rest of his life and should always be aware of cross-addiction. Whilst being a recovering addict a person can have a fully functional and happy life.