ALCOHOL DAMAGES LIVES IN GAUTENG

ALCOHOL is the drug of choice for people in Gauteng with almost half of the patients at treatment centres in the province being treated for alcohol abuse.

ALCOHOL is the drug of choice for people in Gauteng with almost half of the patients at treatment centres in the province being treated for alcohol abuse.

This was revealed at the commemoration of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, on Friday.

"Alcohol remains the most notorious abused drug", Gauteng health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said.

"Alcohol is popular among the youth, especially in informal settlements and townships".

The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use said 1301 cases out of 2768 admitted at treatment centres in Gauteng between January and June 2008 were for alcohol abuse.

Mahlangu also expressed concern about the abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicine.

"Regarding other drugs the market is dominated by dagga, mandrax, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. The simultaneous use of dagga and mandrax, and dagga and heroin, known as nyaope, is widespread in Gauteng," Mahlangu said.

She warned that substance abuse contributed to injuries, marital and family problems, child abuse, depression, crime and traffic accidents.

"The consequences of alcohol abuse affects everyone, not only those who drink," Mahlangu said.

She said that it was important that anti-drug campaigns target the youth and make them aware of the dangers of substance abuse.

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