Festive Season Substance Abuse Awareness
It’s the festive season Choma, which means a higher chance of more people drinking alcohol and possibly taking drugs. That’s because whenever there are more holidays - the more people seem to let go and let loose. But this is especially the time to be alert and careful Choma. Rather be safe than sorry.
Here’s what you need to be aware of:
Drugs disguised as sweets
This could happen at any time but it’s important to be even more aware during the festive season with the rise of drug use. There are many rumors that drugs are often disguised as sweets or candy and whether or not this is true, you’d rather not take any chances. Be suspicious if someone offers you sweets and other treats out of the blue at a party - without you being able to see where it comes from.
There’s also the drug ‘flakka’, which seems to be hitting SA quite hard this festive season, which you might need to watch out for. Flakka is highly addictive and highly dangerous Choma. It’s a pink/white crystal that resembles bath salts and it can be eaten, snorted or injected. Most of the time though, it’s smoked through an e-cigarette. So if someone offers you sugar-like crystals to eat - don’t touch it. Stay away from any e-cigarette someone offers you to smoke from, even if they tell you it’s harmless. At the end of the day you don’t know what that could contain and it’s much better to be safe rather than sorry.
Pressure to Experiment
Some of your friends or the people you will be surrounded by this holiday season might start experimenting with all types of drugs. They might pressure you to do it, and it might be tempting at first, but avoid using or trying any of them.
Experimenting on drugs can have really harmful effects on your body and can even be fatal if you overdose on them. Even if your friends look ‘fine’ after taking in drugs or alcohol, remember that everyone doesn’t react the same way to substances so you can’t predict your reaction to taking drugs.
Any of the substances you try for the first time during the holiday season can also lead to addiction at a later stage. Be cautious and smart about the decisions you make. You don’t have to be a follower to have fun Choma.
Read more on the surprising effects of alcohol and substance abuse here.
Date rape drugs
Date rape drugs are drugs such as rohypnol, ketamine or GHB and that are often used to sexually assault someone. These drugs have no taste, smell or colour and can be easily slipped into your drink without you knowing about it. If you’re drugged with one of these drugs, you could feel paralyzed, dizzy, unable to speak or you may even blackout. Since it’s the holiday season you might be attending more parties or events where these things could happen. Nobody can be trusted at these events, especially with drinks, so don’t leave anything you’re drinking out of your sight. Also don’t accept opened drinks and always go to parties or events with people you trust.
The roads are much busier during the festive season so accidents are more likely to occur. What makes this time of the year worse on the roads is that accidents are even more likely because more people tend to drink around this year too. Keep yourself and your friends safe this festive season by never getting behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking or never getting into a car with a person who’s been drinking.
With drinking and driving, one of two things can happen: you could get into a serious car accident where one or more people could lose their lives or you could be pulled over by the police - which means spending your holiday season behind bars with drunk driving on your criminal record permanently.
No matter what you do this Holiday season Choma remember to stay safe and be aware. Rather don’t drink alcohol or take drugs; it’s just not worth it. Surround yourself with trustworthy people that won’t influence you or pressure you into unsafe and risky behaviour.
For more safety tips this holiday season I recommend these two articles:
Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)
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