We at the ADF heard similar stories from our clients every year especially during the festive period. It is also common that drugs like Rohypinol (Date Rape Drug) are spiked in unsuspecting individual’s drinks with disastrous consequences. A girl woke up in a strangers flat not having a clue of how she ended up there. People are urged to be vigilant even while socializing at parties, pubs and clubs.
It is also common knowledge that many people indulge in drugs for recreational purposes. Many people purchase drugs when hosting parties especially when away from home like chalets and camping trips. It is important for such people to understand that they won’t really know the ingredients of the drugs they consume. Drug dealers are known to be innovative in packaging their new drugs. They have new ideas, new colours, shapes, sizes packaging and composition of the drug that is constantly changing with disastrous consequences. In March 2016, the drug Mercedes was sold to learners celebrating term end function. More than 50 learners was hospitalized with four deaths. It will be safest not to indulge in any drug.
December is also party time for people of all ages. What is particularly disturbing, are the unsupervised youth house parties. Many parties are organized without the parent’s knowledge. Boys and girls are invited to house parties where they indulge in alcohol, drugs and sex. ADF members attended some of these parties uninvited and the findings were extremely disturbing. Parents must monitor their children especially if they are home alone through phone calls and friends/relatives/neighbours in ‘friendly’ way. Parents must also have an open line of communication with their children. Frank discussions about alcohol, drugs and sex must be held with them. Should the parents agree to host house parties, it must be well organized. An invitation list must be drawn up, monitor entry, demarcate areas for the party- no access to bedrooms, must be a time curfew in place and most of all there must be responsible adult supervision at all times.
Another great concern that the ADF has during the festive season, are relapses. The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry but what if you are a recovering with a substance use disorder, the season for cocktails, parties and good times can be difficult to manage. Recovering patients must identify their triggers before attending social functions. They have to remind themselves daily that they are in recovery and they must not give into temptation or pressure from friends or relatives just to have one ‘fun skyfe’ or just ‘one shot’. It is best to just walk away to prevent a lapse which could possibly lead to a relapse.
Indeed the festive period is one that everybody looks forward to especially after working hard all year long. Yes we must celebrate! Parties must be held with great responsibility and moderation. There is no need to reach a point where one is paralytic drunk. It won’t be much of a party with such people. Drinking and not driving is also a steadfast rule everyone should adhere to. Arrange transport, utilize the services Uber or taxis. Do not endanger your life or the lives of other innocent people.
There are so many different ways that we can enjoy the festive season with family, friends and relatives like picnics at parks and beaches, day drives to interesting places, weekends away at chalets and hotels, movies at the malls, visiting flea markets, dining out at restaurants or celebrating at home with friends and family. There is certainly great fun forthcoming, let’s do that responsibly. Take care of yourself and each other.
The ADF Team,