Posts Tagged ‘addiction prevention’

S.A. Addiction Industry Accountability Petition

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Petitions

  • South Africa is addicted to tax from corporates who sell addictive products or services. Government must become independent of its dependency to sin taxes.
  • South Africa’s dependency to income derived from addictive products and or services, actually ENABLES ADDICTION. Sin taxes should be used exclusively for the purposes of treatment as well as addiction prevention.
  • Industries that sell addictive products or services should be held financially accountable for the treatment costs of people who are addicted to their products etc. Namely cigarette, alcohol, casinos, pornographers and pharmaceutical companies.
  • The country’s consciousness concerning the severity of addiction in S.A. needs to change. Government must become actively involved in educating South Africans about the dangers of using ANY substance, product or service which is addictive.
  • More people in S.A. are addicted to a substance, product, service or behaviour than there are people living with HIV/AIDS. Government must publicly admit this fact and present a plan of action to the South African people on how they will strive towards a society free of addiction.
  • The most dangerous addictive services and products are all legal. If alcohol or cigarettes were invented today, they would be illegal because they are so dangerous. Government must do everything in its power to remover these products from the South African market place.
  • S.A.’s drug consumption is double the world norm.
  • More than 15% of South Africans are problem drug users.

What is the AAC’s purpose?

  1. To be a national addiction / substance abuse partner in addressing the issue effectively.
  2. To be the most well informed organisation on the issue of addiction in S.A.
  3. To maintain the availability and relevance of information and statistics.
  4. To challenge but also assist Government in becoming transparent on taxes collected from “sin” industries.
  5. To challenge but also assist Government & “sin” industries to use taxes and profits generated from these industries for: i) a national addiction prevention program focused on 7 year olds & upwards which is integrated into the national education curriculum & ii) A national addiction treatment program which reaches out to the poor i.e. a program that can be understood by illiterate people, which is in their own language & culture-specific.
  6. To lobby in parliament & work with various political leaders in changing the laws of South Africa in order to depopularize addictive products and services.
  7. To lobby in parliament & work with various political leaders in changing the laws of South Africa, to make prison sentences more severe for drug dealers & traffickers.
  8. To work with the criminal justice system in creating diversion treatment programs for people who commit criminal offences under the compulsion of addiction or substance dependency. Such programmes would aim to keep them out of prison so that they can first complete an addiction / substance dependency treatment programme. Those who respond well could have charges withdrawn or receive reduced and/or suspended sentences with the prospect of heavier penalties if they re-offend.
  9. To establish an independent AAC recovery assistance fund which would help all South Africans receive proper addiction / substance dependency treatment regardless of race, religion, age, gender or sexual preference.

Click here to sign it now

Can addiction be prevented?

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Articles

By Warren Whitfield

The short answer is yes and no. See also this article published on Addictionology.co.za

Warren-Whitfield

Warren Whitfield

Yes because the extent of people who are in active addiction (which includes addiction to substances, behaviours and emotions) can be reduced. We call this principle Harm Reduction. Theoretically we can reduce the amount of people who enter into active addiction by providing proper education and prevention programs to children at the right age. We can never stop the supply of addictive products or services, but we can have an effect on the demand. We can also reduce the amount of people in active addiction by making treatment affordable and accessible.

What we are seeing is that prevention programs in high schools are “too little too late”. On average, between 15% and 30% of the pupils in high schools already admit to having a substance abuse problem which they believe needs treatment. This means that prevention needs to start at a much younger age. The motive of education in schools needs to change from producing people who are economically useful to people who are emotionally independent, who know what they want and display a knowledge of the life skills required to compete in the game called life.

In terms of nature or nurture, the disease or “dis-ease” of addiction is not entirely nature’s fault. It’s also nurtured by our parents, role models and environments. In other words, we can have an effect on how people see themselves and what choices they make in life if we reach them soon enough. If people believe that they lack anything, they desire what they believe will make them whole or what will improve their life. If people see themselves as whole and complete, they do not desire any substance, product or service because they understand that it cannot make them better.

However for all of this to take place, taxes which are collected from addictive products or services must be re-appropriated for addiction prevention, education and treatment. Also, corporates that profit from people who cannot control themselves must become accountable by spending the profits which are generated from addicted people on harm reduction.

And finally no addiction cannot be prevented entirely because there will always be addictive products, services and behaviours available and marginalized people who have no access to prevention, education and treatment will continue to enter addiction and to remain addicted & pass their thinking and behaviours on to their future generations. As long as people have “stinking thinking” (i.e. believe that anything will make them better, significant, acceptable, more confident or happy) addiction will continue.

The AAC

Acudetox Centre

Quit Smoking with Acupuncture

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