I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

27 Nov 2013

The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 2

I don’t know if you are aware of this: South Africa has one of the highest levels of alcohol consumption in the world. Of the people here who drink, each person consumes nearly 17 litres of pure alcohol per year.
Alcohol was the third largest contributor to death and disability after sexual transmitted infections and interpersonal violence. The three largest contributors to the burden specifically related to alcohol included homicide and violence, alcohol use disorders, and road traffic injuries. http://www.alcohol.org.za/statistics
I don’t want to stand here and rattle off hundreds of statistics. However, I think it is important to mention some of the important ones in order to highlight the problem.

  •    Six out of ten drivers that die in accidents have dangerously high alcohol levels in their blood.
  •    In an investigation into substance abuse, 50% of truck drivers and 30% of taxi drivers had been drinking or smoking marijuana.
  •    3000 adult pedestrians are killed in motor accidents per year. 70% of them are drunk when killed.
  •    When you are on the road at night, one out of every seven drivers sharing the road with you, is drunk.

All those problems are easily quantifiable, but what about the problems that we don’t see? The ones that are not easy to put on paper: the families who don’t communicate; people’s shattered confidence and dreams; the misguided sense of self; the children without guidance.

Rather than list cold, hard facts, I want to tell you about one of the authors that I promote. He grew up in Chatsworth in a dysfunctional family. While in school, he tried hard. He did his best, got good marks, and to the outside world, the mask he had on, looked perfect. He was accepted into university and everyone though that this is where his life would begin.

While in university however, his life turned upside-down after some tragic events. His lack of guidance and grounding from his dysfunctional upbringing life left him weak and susceptible to drugs. As a result, he became addicted. Fortunately, he met a friend who ran a creative writing group, the aim of which was to release negative emotions and fears. He used his writing to overcome his addiction and published a fiction novel called, Shades of Grey. Just to clarify, it is not to be confused with the E.L. James novel, as Neville wrote his book over three years ago.

I asked Neville if he would allow me to read a passage from his book, which describes the highs and extreme lows that a drug addict faces.

The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 1
The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 3
The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 4

More tomorrow
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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone


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