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Signs of Drug Abuse

Changing patterns of performance, appearance and behaviour may signal the use of drugs.  The items in the first category listed below proved direct evidence of drug use, while items in the other categories offer signs that may indicate drug use.  For this reason parents should look for extreme changes in children's behaviour , changes that together form a pattern associated with drug use.

Signs of Drug Abuse and Drug Equipment

Identification with Drug Culture

Signs of Physical Deterioration

Changes in Behaviour

  • Ecstasy is synonymous with Raves.
  • The tablets are either brown or pink.
  • They can cause psychological and physical harm.
  • Reduced appetite
  • Causes sleep problems
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Dependency can be fatal
Dagga / Cannabis

This drug consists  of the flowering tops, leaves, stems and seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant.  It grows in KZN and all over the world.  Users can experience depression, anxiety attacks and bizarre, terrifying hallucinations

LSD "Acid"

A powerful hallucinogen.  A mind altering drug that was very popular in the 60's.  It leads to sever personality disturbances.  Flashbacks occur, which is a sudden intense recurrence of hallucinations several days, months or years after use!


The drug of the street children of South Africa.  Glue, petrol, nail polish removers, paint and thinners, lighter fuels etc.  Sever psychological and physiological dependence.  Can lead to severe physical damage.


About 10% of all people who drink become alcoholics.

Alcoholics cannot control their drinking.  Alcohol is a drug, a central nervous system depressant - not a stimulant.  As such, it will depress certain brain functions.


Mandrax produces depression and slows down the nervous system.  Overdosing is a real danger as tolerance to the drug develops rapidly


One of the most harmful substances adversely affecting community health.  Smokers are prone to disease.  Smoking is highly addictive.  The risk of lung disease is increased x25.  Also can lead to mouth and throat cancer.  smoking also affects those around you - they become passive smokers


Derivative of cocaine but cheaper.  Resembles small irregular whitish stones, 'crack' is the sound they make when smoking.  The good feeling lasts for 5-20 minutes.  Crack leads to : breathing problems, stroke, heart failure, depression, paranoia and psychosis


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