Posts Tagged ‘prevention’

Is government to blame for xenophobia?

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Articles

A very serious strain of xenophobia is brewing in our country which left unchecked, WILL end in hundreds if not thousands of deaths.

Recently I attended a meeting in the South of Johannesburg hosted by a Pastor who has been struggling for the last year or so to establish his substance abuse ministry. I was asked to speak at the meeting which was arranged to rally support for his organisation. During the meeting, the loving Pastor suggested that all who had attended the meeting were “spineless cowards” and challenged all to grow some spines and join him in forcefully rooting out the “evil Nigerians” who were prospering, unpunished, from our suffering. Sadly, it’s quite obvious that the good Pastor himself is xenophobic.

When I was asked to speak, I immediately distanced myself from this vigilante mentality and suggested that the law was the only acceptable means to deal with any violation of it. I left the meeting immediately after my speech.

SANAB-South-African-Narcotics-Bureau

S.A.N.A.B. were disbanded in 2004 because they were too effective

The warning I speak of is this; ordinary South Africans (+-15% of our population are problem drug users – UNODC 07,2010) are suffering on an epidemic scale, not because of Nigerians or any other culture, race or religion, but because our own government betrayed the people they serve by disbanding the South African Narcotics Bureau (SANAB) in 2004, and fail to address the continued cries for their reinstatement.

If narcotics and human trafficking is spreading like wildfire it is because WE HAVE NO NATIONAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. While we are blissfully distracted into believing that it is another nation’s fault, it is in fact our own fault. This fact is exacerbated by the shocking reality that very few traffickers and dealers are convicted. There is even a criminal defense attorney on the East Rand that I am aware of who claims a 100% no conviction success rate for all of the dealers/traffickers that he has represented. Needless to say, he’s very rich and very busy.

Our leaders and criminal justice system are failing to protect the lives of our people and have in fact enabled xenophobia, (Hellen Zille excluded) and the torment of innocent foreign nationals who are on the whole, honest and hardworking.

And that responsibility lies with all of us, because we allow it to continue.

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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