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

2 Dec 2013

The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 5

Thanks to all those who are reading this series of posts about the dangers of substance abuse (the numbers are looking good, so I know it's being read). Let's get some comments going now (and some sharing). With that out of the way, here is part 5.

Drug use can lead to a variety of destructive behaviors. Many studies have found a link between drug and alcohol abuse, and criminal activity. When the mind is impaired, it does irrational things. Very few of us in our sane and sober minds, will shoot someone or break into somebodies house. When a person is on drugs however, there is a much greater likelihood of getting involved in that kind of activity. One survey found that in 46% of all non-natural deaths in South Africa, the deceased had a blood alcohol content of greater than 0.05g/100ml. In a wopping 69% of all homicides cases in South Africa, the victims had a blood alcohol content higher than the legal driving limit.

Substance abuse can also lead to unhealthy and unprotected sexual acts. I found surveys that showed the link between HIV infection and alcohol use. And this is not confined to rural communities. I don’t know if anyone else feels it, but I certainly get the impression that in affluent communities we think that everything bad happens out in rural communities. I remember a story however, from many years ago that I heard on radio. I can still hear the guys voice to this day. He was just a normal white, male South African living in uMhlanga. He contracted the HI virus at the age of 19 after a few years of promiscuous partying, drinking and experimentation. A life destroyed because, for a few hours he lost his mind after a night’s binge.

Studies have also found strong links between alcohol and other substance abuse, and family violence. This next story may sound a touch funny. I know I always chuckle a little even though I shouldn’t. I’m only human however. My brother had a friend long ago. We were in junior school at the time, so we couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven. When his family would get together, they would drink so much  that it often ended in family members beating each other with planks of wood.

For those still in school, the odds of repeating a grade are 60% higher if you consume alcohol.

I think more than all this and the other easily quantifiable dangers of substance abuse; the effects of substance abuse reach far and wide in ways that we battle to notice. What I always say is, “It’s not what you learn in a dysfunctional family; it’s what you don’t learn.” Let me elaborate. When growing up in a dysfunctional home, there may not be a role model present who can guide you, who can teach you. That’s when we become susceptible to drugs, alcohol and other substances.

So many people say, “All we need is love.” However, the reality is life is about many things and many skills, and without strong role models in the home, we are continuing to perpetuating bad habits.

The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 1
The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 2
The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 3
The Dangers of Substance Abuse - Part 4

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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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