Substance abuse isn't just about you - it also affects your family and friends

26 June 2019 - 17:53 By Thando Mpembe
The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) marked Substance Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday. This year their focus is on supporting family members and loved ones affected.
The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) marked Substance Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday. This year their focus is on supporting family members and loved ones affected.
Image: 123RF/lacamerachiara.

Substance abuse doesn't just affect the users; it can also take its toll on their families and friends.

This was the message from the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) on Substance Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday. The day aims to create awareness around the problem and create a society that is free from drug abuse.

“Substance use or abuse doesn't only affect the patient or user; it also affects the family and friends. They too need support and help," said SADAG spokesperson Kayla Phillips.

Over the past 10 years, SADAG has teamed up with the national department of social development to educate people about the effects of drugs and alcohol. This year their focus is on supporting family members and loved ones affected by substance abuse.

“This year we are focusing on providing resources, free online help and access to tips and tools for families and loved ones," said the organisation.

Substance abuse is linked to depression and anxiety. “About 60% of people in rehabilitation centres have an underlying anxiety disorder. These range from generalised anxiety disorder and social phobia to panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Phillips.

SADAG has brochures available on its website that give details on how to deal with substance abuse.

People affected by substance abuse can contact the department of social development's 24-hour substance abuse helpline on 0800121314.


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