Problems, Schools

Cape School Substance Abuse Problems

Substance abuse is a plague affecting our school children. It has destroyed lives and stopped our youth from prospering. The problem in the Western Cape schools is twice above the world norm. This can be attributed to the drug and gang culture in the poorer communities.

The most alarming fact is that drug users are getting young and younger. With some starting before they are even teenagers, the problem becomes even more worrying. Children’s minds require a healthy active lifestyle and the use of drugs, especially at that age, have an adverse effect on the development of a child’s mind. This negatively affects the child’s ability to perform at school and, more often than not, results in the child dropping out. Fortunately there are some excellent rehabilitation centres in cape town.

Drug abuse and drug gangs used to be a Cape Flats phenomenon, however, the problem has spread and today we see young people of all colours, creeds and class levels involved in some form of substance abuse. Each demographic in Cape Town is facing a different drug scourge. There is a drug for every wealth bracket, from the relatively cheap Nyaope (which is a mixture of different over-the-counter and prescription medication) and cannabis to the expensive Cocaine. Students, whether from the rich suburbs or the poorest township schools, can get a high.

Alcohol is the widely available to teenagers, despite the age restrictions. Surveys have found 66% of high school learners have used alcohol while roughly half of these learners partake in unsafe binge drinking sessions. Binge drinking has been closely associated with poor academic performance, brain damage, teen pregnancy and drunk driving road accidents.

The most worrying drug is the highly addictive stimulant, methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is the drug of choice in the Cape Flats, where it is referred to simply as Tik. Tik is the 2nd most commonly used illegal drug, with the most common being cannabis. Tik is done, by heating a crystal in a light bulb and smoking the fumes. The smoking of Tik gives the user increased energy, insomnia, tremors and increased sex drive. The later has directly lead to an increase in rape, crime, STDs and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Over time, methamphetamine use leads to weight loss, skin, hair and nail deterioration, seizures and violent mood swings. Ixande treatment centre has the reputation of being one the finest rehab Cape Town can offer.

While preventing drug use altogether should be the primary objective, if a loved one is found to have a substance problem, professional rehabilitation should be seriously considered. With great rehabilitation facilities around the Cape, such as [insert Co. name], you’re loved one is getting the help and emotional support he needs from people who understand his dilemma better than anyone else. Patients who finish the entire rehabilitation program have high success rates and are unlikely to relapse.

More and more youth are turning to drug running and sales to make money. With the unique ability to infiltrate schools undetected and peer pressure fellow students into trying drugs, children are often used by drug gangs to sell drugs in schools. Once students are given a taste of the drugs, they develop an addiction and end up spending all their money chasing the high. When they have depleted their allowance, the children either start committing petty crimes for easy cash or they turn to pushing drugs themselves. Psychologists have found the use of drugs and alcohol by students is a result of stress, parental ignorance, a lack of guidance and emotional vulnerability which can be attributed to a lack of family support.

The rapid growth of drug and alcohol abuse by Cape Town youth is a great threat to the future of our great nation. Ensuring we prevent our youth from trying drugs and getting those with a substance abuse problem is imperative.

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