At the end of March this year , tragedy struck as around 20 youth in Kwamashu fell prey to the ‘party’ drug Mercedes(Ecstasy), left four dead and the rest hospitalized. Later 23 more youth were hospitalized in Pietermaritzburg due to indulging in the same drug also known ‘Lacoste and Ben 10’. Within period of a few weeks, this tainted form of the drug Ecstasy wreaked havoc amongst the youngsters in Kwazulu Natal all whom used the drug together with alcohol with devastating and sadly fatal consequences.
The Anti-Drug forum is aware of the trend of the use of ecstasy together with alcohol which is all the rage at parties and clubs. It must be noted that drug peddlers and runners are often seen outside clubs, pubs and even shebeens selling their wares to the youth who wish to party all night. However the youth are totally unaware of the shattering consequences the concoction of ecstasy and alcohol has on them.
Sam Pillay, Director of the Anti-Drug Forum said , “ Mercedes is not a new drug. It is just a stronger form of ‘Ecstasy’ which is bulked up with chemicals and other harmful drugs. The composition of the drug varies from area to area depending on what the drug dealer has access to.”
“Ecstasy” is a name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), a synthetic drug that has similar effects to some stimulants. It is a stimulant which causes the brain to release chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine which are associated with pleasure and excitement. Although it must be noted this euphoria is coupled with the clenching of the jaw, thirst, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate convulsing and even depression.
Although many people assume alcohol to be a stimulant, it is actually a depressant which gets distributed throughout the body where water is found like the brain. Alcohol is also a diuretic which means which means it makes you go to the toilet a lot and makes you sweat a lot. The brain controls cognitive behaviour and with the introduction of alcohol, the individual becomes dehydrated followed by the loss of inhibition, decrease in alertness, impaired judgement and decreased coordination. It also affects the body’s ability to control its temperature.
As stated earlier, ecstasy stimulates the release of chemicals , one of which is serotonin , the chemical which helps regulate the body’s temperature, thus when used with alcohol, this chemical is affected hence the body can become overheated without warning. This can potentially cause life threatening problems including unstoppable bleeding, liver and kidney failure and even becoming comatose.
When mixing alcohol and ecstasy, the user also risks the mixing of a sedative and a stimulant. This can cause irregular heart beats because alcohol reduces the amount of oxygen your heart carries around your body and it slows down your breathing, too. But ecstasy boosts your metabolism so you need more breath and more oxygen to feed all that energy. That combination weakens your heart and the arteries around it.
All in All , this drug cocktail offers up a double dose of dehydration, overheating and organ failure but how many of those who wish to party all night are really aware of these devastating and possibly fatal consequences. Please make the right choices, choose to stay drug free.
Should you need assistance, please contact the Anti-drug Forum on 031 4046993.
The Anti-Drug Forum held their annual Placard demonstration on Friday 12 August 2016. The event was a huge success with over 60 schools participating from Chatsworth and surrounding Areas. Various schools stood outside their school gates, on the main roads near their schools and even on the Higginson Highway between 7:30 and 8:00am that morning in order to promote Anti-Substance abuse messages.
Sam Pillay director of the Anti-Drug Forum Said: “It was so good to see thousands of placards in different places on the same day. The family involvement in many placards that were presented by the learners was heart-warming to see. It was especially exciting to see the Grade R and Grade 1 learners screaming “don’t do drugs!”. The objective of creating conversation about substance abuse in the home was achieved. We have to get to the learners before the drug dealers do! It is however a pity that some schools did not participate in the demonstration. The learners of these schools were unfortunately denied the excitement of being apart this amazing event. We hope that those schools who didn’t participate this year will make a concerted effort to be apart of the ADF Placard Demonstration 2017.”
Thank you to all the schools who have participated, we are still awaiting stats and photographs from those schools who haven’t already sent theirs in. Our hearty congratulations to all the schools who showed their passion, enthusiasm and creativity in their demonstrations! We look forward to many more years in striving towards a drug free community with you!
To those schools who would like to send their information and pictures through, you can do so on firstname.lastname@example.org. The pictures will be posted on our website and on our social media pages!
It is time once again, the highlight of the Anti-Drug Forum Smart Club Programme – the Annual Placard. Excitement is mounting as this year the placard demonstration is set to take place on Friday 12 August 2016 which is just around the corner. On this this momentous day, learners from both primary and secondary schools alike hold a placard demonstration outside and in the vicinity of their said schools. Many schools have already started preparing for this important and exhilarating event and we urge others to join in and represent their school in the fight against substance abuse, and more importantly the fight for our learners! After All Knowledge is power and we giving this power to the learners so they can make the best choices for their future.
Sam Pillay Director of the Anti-Drug Forum said: “It is exciting to see the schools come together for an event of this calibre; we have many schools that are combining on their main roads with creative artwork and inspiring passion for the cause! In the past we have had over 70 schools participating since the inception of the placard demonstration, we would like to see more schools on board this year! We urge all schools to take this initiative seriously and contribute by showing their participation. I look forward to seeing everyone on the 12th August 2016 standing tall as one against substance abuse!”
The main aim of this program is to get the learners and their communities to rally together as one as we stand together in the fight against substance abuse! As it becomes the topic of discussion in class and at home with parents and guardians as well as siblings and families assisting the learners and communicating as well as sharing knowledge about the issue of substance abuse within their community we see a vast amount of awareness being spread and a culmination of different pupils, people and area’s joining forces as one for that 10-30mins. It is these few mins that will steer us closer to our goal of our drug free society.
All schools that are participating and would like to participate may contact our offices on 031 4046993.
The 16 Days of Activism will commence this year, from the 25th November to the 10th December. These 16 days are intended to promote awareness and prevention pertaining to the abuse of Women and children and is dedicated to all victims and survivors of abuse. South Africa has become a notorious capital for sexually related violence. Recent stats reveal that a child is abused every three minutes, with 60 cases of abuse being reported daily. Despite intensive awareness campaigns being conducted on a continuous basis the statistics of these atrocities continue to grow at an alarming rate. The reason for this is that although there are many people and organizations out there that are fighting for the rights of women and children there are also many people in the community that are silent bystanders, youth that are too preoccupied by the fast –paced, technological lifestyle and victims who are too afraid to speak out especially if the perpetrator is from the victim’s family.
Sam Pillay Director of the Anti-Drug Forum Said: “ I strongly believe that it should be 365 days of Activism! However since it has been established as 16 days we would like to use this opportunity to highlight the issue. It is important for the whole community to understand the issue of abuse, violence and social ills. It is the responsibility of the community to make the community a better one, if we can do something practical, we can at least pray for them!”
In light of these atrocities and the issue of silence; the Anti-Drug Forum calls upon and challenges each and every religious organization, Community Service organization, Companies, Youth Groups, Communities and individuals to unite in an attempt to take a stand against these horrific crimes and to protect our women and children! The nature of this union will be a Mass Prayer/Movement that will take place on the 29th November 2015 at 9am in your place of worship/company/home. We request that all individuals dedicate their service/prayer that Sunday morning to the victims of Women and Child abuse. If you are unable to attend you may do the universal prayer/ your own prayer from the comfort of your home, We also urge those who are on social media to visit our Facebook and website where a Display picture for the 16 Days will be uploaded to which you can put up as your profile picture and share with others, alternatively you can also put up a status at 9am and challenge your friends to do the same.
Organizations/Institutions and individuals are also requested to either video or take pictures of their prayer/service and forward through to the ADF or share on the ADF face book group. All of which will be put up on the ADF website and social media networks.
Please contact our offices via email or telephonically to confirm your participation in this event. Organizations are encouraged to advertise their participation as well as spread the word to other organizations and institutions. The combination of prayer and positive energies that will be created with the Mass Prayer/Movement will surely make a difference and spread the word that via means of spirituality anything can be achieved, and any evil can be overcome. The positive energy from this event will also motivate more women and children to speak out against their abuse and seek help as well as provide victims with hope and strength to move forward.
For more information you may contact us on 031 404 6993/ email: email@example.com
The ADF Team,