Profit-before-people business bedevils fight against addiction in SA

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Articles

By Llewellyn Kriel, Editor in Chief – The AAC. (Pro Bono)

WHILE the severity of the massive and mushrooming nationwide scourge of addiction is acknowledged by South Africa’s public and private sectors and most ordinary citizens, no comprehensive and reliable research exists to even benchmark how to begin addressing the crisis.

“Everyone knows there is a problem. Everyone pledges to address it. Virtually everyone in the country knows someone affected by addiction in one or other of its myriad forms. But nobody has the vaguest idea of the size of it or let alone how to start combating it. While our laws still do not acknowledge gambling, sex and pornography as addictions, the consciousness around the issue remains primitive and prevention methods ineffective,” says Warren Whitfield, founder of The Addiction Action Campaign.

The AAC recently staged a peaceful protest demonstration outside the Sandton headquarters of brewery giant, SAB Miller, to hand over memorandums to representatives of the alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, gambling and pornography industries. Despite being directly and individually invited to accept their memorandums, not a single representative – aside from Vincent Maphai, CEO of SAB Miller – could be bothered. None even tendered an apology.

“This, tragically, is symptomatic of a pervasive devil-may-care attitude within the ‘addiction industry’. Profits are invariably put ahead of people,” says Whitfield, who condemned the lack of sensitivity – even callousness – towards the reality and tragedy of addiction. “They all cite ‘personal responsibility’ as the problem whilst almost denying any corporate accountability.”

“Leaders who should know better prefer to deliberately ignore the problem or fob off an increasingly anxious public with grandiose marketing gestures under the guise of corporate social investment,” says Whitfield, who is at pains to emphasise that the AAC does not oppose the legitimacy or rights of these industries to profitable business practices.

“We do, however, demand that these companies plough back an appropriate portion of their vast profits into preventing addiction, treatment and investing in reducing the harm their legitimate practices cause. The fact that we know so little about the extent and severity of the crisis in South Africa is ample proof of how incredibly ignorant the very industries that breed addiction are about the harm they cause.”

With only SABMiller showing any sensitivity to the crisis of alcoholism in SA, which has dubious distinction of having highest level of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the world, the AAC has condemned the “ignorance, deliberate neglect and callous insensitivity” of:

The Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa,
Pharmaceutical Industry Association of SA,
Innovative Medicines of South Africa,
National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufactures,
Self Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa,
National Gambling Board,
National Responsible Gambling,
JT Publishing (Hustler),
Adult World,
The Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA),
SA Liquor Brand Owner’s Association,
Distell,
Brandhouse,
KWV,
Douglas Green Bellingham,
E Snell & Co,
Pernod-Ricard,
The Really Great Brand Company,
VinPro,
Wine Cellars SA,
Tsogo Sun Group,
Casino Association of South Africa.

“In our discussions with these companies and industry groups, we’ve been gobsmacked by levels of ignorance about the size and devastating effects of addiction and the arrogant apathy towards finding lasting solutions to the underlying problems. They either claim no such problem exists – as did Joe Theron, publisher of “Hustler” – throw up their arms in impotence or cower behind the irresponsible assertion that they are doing nothing illegal,” says Whitfield.

“Without extensive, well-funded and scientific research projects to try to understand the extent of addiction in all its forms and what is and is not addictive behaviour, current efforts at rehabilitation and encouraging responsible behaviour, vital as these are, are tantamount to addressing HIV/Aids or cancer with a couple of aspirin.”

The AAC are endorsed by NEHAWU, and with their own current membership of around 5000, will take their cause to the High Court and the Constitutional Court to request a ruling on the legitimacy of profiting from addiction.

“We must always remember that the fundamental difference between people who enjoy alcohol, gambling, pornography and even tobacco and use pharmaceutical products in the ways in which they were intended, and addicts, is that addicts cannot control their behaviour and in almost all cases, do not want to be using the substance or service that they are addicted to. Our essential position is then that it is unethical, immoral and, indeed, illegal to profit from people who cannot help themselves. If you profit from addiction, then you are enabling it. And if you are enabling it, then you are causing harm,” says Whitfield.
END

People before profit Citizen article

People before profit Citizen article

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Warren Whitfield

Warren Whitfield is the founder and CEO of the Addiction Action Campaign. He is also the author of “Addict Nation – The epidemic of addiction in South Africa today”. He founded NADA S.A. and has his own auriculotherapy practice in Northcliff, Johannesburg. He envisioned the concept of addiction harm reduction in South Africa and birthed the Addiction Harm Reduction Compliancy Initiative. Besides treating people for many ailments, he also created and owns various other businesses which include, AffiliatePro Marketing, INeedRehab.co.za & Acudetox.co.za

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Kelly Clarkson shares new photo of baby Remy and his sister River on Father's Day Kelly Clarkson shared a new photo of baby son Remy on Sunday as she wished husband Brandon Blackstock a happy Father's Day. The sweet snapshot showed Brandon sitting on the sofa with his arms wrapped around their daughter River Rose and their two-month-old son Remington Alexander. 'Happy Father's Day @BBlackstock #PieceByPiece Thnx 4 being such a great dad 2 all 4 of our kiddos! #sexydaddyalert,' Kelly wrote on Twitter.pre bonded hair 'Sexy daddy alert': Kelly Clarkson shared a sweet photo of husband Brandon Blackstock with their two-year-old daughter River (L) and two-month-old son Remy in honour of Father's Day on Sunday The 34-year-old American Idol winner - who has been married to the talent manager since October 2013 - gave birth to Remy on April 12, while River celebrated her second birthday last week. Kelly is also stepmother to Brandon's two children Savannah, 14, and Seth, eight, and recently said that they won't be having any more kids.

'Oh, no, we are done,' she told KIIS FM Australia when asked if she planned to try for more children. 'Oh good Lord, yes, I can't be pregnant again. This will be our number four total, so we're good. 'Honestly, the first one was really rough, and I was like, "Oh, it can't happen again," and no it happened, like, way worse this time.' Happy family: The singer is also stepmother to Brandon's two children Savannah, 14, and Seth, eight. She is seen here with the talent manager in 2013 Kelly added: 'I just get hospitalised, and I have to get fluids. It's just, like, my body was not made to be pregnant.' Meanwhile last month, the singer joked that she 'hates' Chrissy Teigen, after seeing a picture of the model in a crop top and hotpants just three weeks after giving birth. Responding to the photo that John Legend shared on Instagram, Kelly tweeted: 'Okay, what?! She just had a baby! My train of thoughts.... #hateher #justkidding #kindofnotkidding #jealouslikeJonas.' But it was all in good fun as the pop star also invited John and his wife and daughter over for a 'play date' - providing they bring some of Chrissy's delicious cooking. Fighting back: Last year, the Stronger hit-maker responded to fat-shamers who criticised her for not bouncing back into shape right away after giving birth Last year, the Stronger hit-maker responded to fat-shamers who criticised her for not bouncing back into shape right away after giving birth. 'There are just some people who are born skinny and with a great metabolism – that is not me,' Kelly told Redbook magazine.remy hair extensions 'I wish I had a better metabolism. But someone else probably wishes they could walk into a room and make friends with everyone like I can. You always want what someone else has.' The star added: 'I don't obsess about my weight, which is probably one of the reasons why other people have such a problem with it.' Just kidding: Meanwhile Kelly joked last month that she 'hates' Chrissy Teigen for getting back her pre-baby figure so quickly after giving birth

She impressed audiences with her gorgeous legs as she flirted with Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. And Margot Robbie’s pins were on display as she strolled around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono, on Wednesday. The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Scroll down for video Stepping out: Margot Robbie’s trim pins were on display as she wafted around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono on Wednesday The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC. Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun.perruques cheveux naturels The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan. All smiles: Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun High fashion: The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective Good taste: The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands.

Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night. Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses. Flawles: The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan Going natural: She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands Looking her best: Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power. Others sitting at promising odds to star as the much-desired female character are American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who sits at 22/1, with Brit Emma Watson further down the line at 40/1. The Gold Coast girl found her big break in 2013 opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as the feisty and seductive, Naomi. Plenty to smile about: Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses Adoring fans: Margot caused a stir with passersby as she stepped out in NYC Well made: The beautiful garment had an elaborate rose pattern on its back More recently, she starred alongside Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend Of Tarzan as Jane.perruques cheveux As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn. Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green. Next big thing: Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the Bond role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power . In demand actress: As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn Following in footsteps: Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green Although the buzz around who will land the role of Bond girl is growing, the film is not expected to be released until at least 2018. Producer Barbara Broccoli has two other projects firmly underway and is said to be keen to tempt Daniel Craig into reprising his role as the titular character for the fifth time. Holding her own: Her breakout role was as DiCaprio's feisty wife, Naomi, on Wolf of Wall Street, which her portrayal earned her international acclaim - and showed off her gorgeous legs to the world

Next week will see the conclusion of the 12th season of The Bachelorette, as Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher gets engaged to either Jordan Rodgers or Robby Hayes. And according to a new report, there's set to be a dramatic break-up ahead of the romantic proposal.lace front wigs Us Weekly claims that JoJo comes to the difficult decision of choosing between the two suitors after one of them makes a big mistake with her parents Joseph and Soraya. Family matters: Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher apparently picks her fiance in next week's Bachelorette finale after one of the men makes a big mistake with her parents Who will it be?: Jordan Rodgers (L) and Robby Hayes are the two men left in the competition, and one of them allegedly gets sent packing after failing to ask JoJo's parents for her hand in marriage The runner-up gets dumped after failing to ask the 25-year-old's parents' for her hand in marriage, and during the emotional rejection, JoJo confesses that she wanted things to turn out differently. 'JoJo was sobbing,' a source told Us Weekly. 'She told him, “I wanted it to be you.”' The insider added: 'It was important to JoJo that the guys get her parents’ permission before proposing. JoJo viewed it as disrespectful that he didn’t.' Us Weekly claims that JoJo's family liked both of the finalists, but thought that the man she eventually picks was better suited to her. Favourite from the start: Jordan received the First Impression Rose and his relationship with JoJo has gone from strength to strength ever since

Not true: The 27-year-old former quarterback has denied that he cheated on his last girlfriend 'Everyone thought he was husband material,' a source said. 'Later, they told JoJo that they liked the other man too, but they thought the second would be more loyal and a better fit.' And speaking about the family's meeting with the runner-up, the insider revealed: 'After he left, Soraya said she thought he was a player.' It seems that JoJo did make the right decision however, as she is apparently still very happily engaged to the winner. She likes what she sees: JoJo has also fallen in love with former competitive swimmer Robby, 27 Denying the rumours: Robby has refuted claims that he dumped his girlfriend to appear on the show Former quarterback Jordan, 27, has been a favourite to win the show from night one, when JoJo presented him with the First Impression Rose. Show secrets: Us Weekly revealed details of the dramatic finale And while on Monday's episode of the show he was seen telling the real estate developer that asking her father's permission to propose would be very important to him, a clip for the finale showed JoJo asking if he is ready to get down on one knee. Both of the finalists have faced rumours about past relationships, with Jordan's ex Brittany Farrar claiming that they broke up because she cheated on him. He denied this to JoJo on the show. The footballer is estranged from his famous NFL star brother Aaron, whose girlfriend Olivia Munn is close pals with Jordan's ex-girlfriend. Aaron finally addressed his younger brother speaking about their fraught relationship on the show during an interview with WISN on Tuesday. 'As far as those kinds of things go, I've always found that it's a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I'm not going to speak on those things,' he said. 'But I wish him well in the competition.' Meanwhile a friend of Robby's ex-girlfriend Hope Higginbotham has claimed that he dumped her in order to go on The Bachelorette, something which he denied during last week's hometown dates. The Bachelorette finale followed by the After The Final Rose special will air on ABC on Monday.cosplay wigs She made the right choice: JoJo is apparently still happily engaged to the winner, who popped the question in May. The finale airs on ABC on Monday