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A Story of Hope…

“I’ve been popular and unpopular, successful and unsuccessful,loved and loathed, and I know how meaningless it all is.Therefore, I feel free to take whatever risks I want.” Madonna

A Story of Hope: As told by Hellen Zille:

Outliers – The story of Masibambane High School

In his best-selling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell seeks to unravel “the story of success” – exceptional success, not just great achievement.

He defines an outlier as a “statistical observation that is markedly different from the norm” and asks: why do some people achieve so much more than others? How come they lie so far outside the ordinary? What is the secret of their success? He tries to find the answers by examining the lives, times and circumstances of legendary figures like Bill Gates, the Beatles and various sports stars.

In each case, he finds the fortuitous combination of three key factors:

• Opportunity;
• Natural ability combined with enormous personal effort; and
• The proverbial “hand of fate” – a confluence of circumstances that make exceptional things possible.

I decided to test Gladwell’s thesis after the recent release of matric results. It is appropriate to use the term “Outlier” to describe a 17-year old boy, who lives in a backyard shack with his single mother and three siblings, and achieves 7 distinctions in matric, including 97% for higher grade mathematics and the top award in the Western Cape for life sciences.

A shy, finely-built young man, Asavela Rawe arrived at the annual “matric achievers” ceremony in the school uniform of Masibambane high school. As I handed him his award (in my capacity as Premier), I resolved to find out what lay behind his exceptional achievement. When his classmate Monde Simbosini (three distinctions and 98% for higher grade mathematics) was also honoured, I was even more determined to find out more about the school that serves the poverty-stricken community of Bloekombos and achieved a 95% pass rate with 24 subject distinctions.

The purpose of my investigation was to address this simple question: what is the government’s role in creating the circumstances that offer children the opportunity to excel? If this can happen in Masibambane, what must we do to enable it to happen elsewhere? How much of Asavela and Monde’s academic success can be attributed to opportunity, intelligence, personal effort, and plain good luck?

During my investigation, I concluded that all these factors played a role, each a tributary flowing into a river, reinforcing one another to create the momentum for exceptional achievement.

Having sourced the cell number of the school’s principal, Mr Rajan Naidoo, I gave him a call. I apologized for phoning him on a Friday evening during the school holidays.

“No, no”, he replied. “I am at school. We always start the matrics a week early, so that they settle into the learning programme before the other pupils arrive.”

That said a lot about the ethos of Masibambane.

I asked Mr Naidoo if I could visit the school, and possibly meet the key matric teachers and the chair of the governing body. I also enquired whether it would be possible to speak to Asavela and Monde as well. “Come tomorrow morning at 11,” he replied without hesitation. The next day, Mr Naidoo welcomed me to the school accompanied by his daughter, Vinolia, a second year law student. She reminded me that we had met before at the opening of the state-of-the-art operating theatres at Red Cross Children’s hospital. I then recalled the lovely, petite young woman who had given a moving speech about the doctors and staff that had saved her life through a combined liver and kidney transplant.

While doctors were battling to save his daughter’s life, her father, then a deputy school principal in Durban, had applied for teaching posts in Cape Town, so that he could be near his desperately ill child. He was appointed principal at Masibambane in 2003, at that time one of the weakest schools in the Western Cape.

“The hand of fate”, I thought to myself as I applied Gladwell’s thesis.

On the final weekend of the holidays, the school property was a hive of activity – a gardener weeding, a cleaner sweeping and a handyman painting a classroom. “We are preparing for the opening of school next week” he said as he showed me the stacks of text books and stationery ready for distribution on day one.

He proudly walked me around his school, formerly a derelict provincial building which was converted into a school in 2001. He explained how he had driven each improvement, including a sports field with an embankment where pupils can sit and cheer their teams. There is a computer laboratory, a science laboratory, a small library (with a rack for daily newspapers), a kitchen for the feeding scheme, a new hall and toilets. The absence of any sign of vandalism was striking.

“Opportunity,” I thought to myself. Decent basic facilities are necessary to create opportunity, but entirely insufficient on their own. What Mr Naidoo said next, delivered in his characteristic matter-of-fact way, demonstrated why Masibambane is a school capable of producing “outliers”.

“When Vinolia came out of hospital, I wanted her to be near me, so I enrolled her here, at Masibambane,” he said. “I believe principals should be prepared to enrol their own children in their schools, to show they have confidence in the quality of the education they are providing for other children”.

He paused and added: “Vinolia was probably the first Indian child to attend a township school.”

We entered the new administration building, where a small gathering was waiting at a table laid with refreshments.

There I was introduced to Mr Yusif Sium, the school’s mathematics teacher; Mr Andre Kleinschmidt, who teaches physics and life sciences; Mr Shimeless Zeleke the maths literacy teacher; Mr Phumzile Dosi, the English teacher and grade 12 co-ordinator; Mr Thabiso Motsana the life orientation teacher; and Mr Michael Vena, the chair of the school governing body. There were also the star pupils, Asavela and Monde, together with Asavela’s mother, Lungiswa, who works at the “fruit and veg” section of Checkers in Kraaifontein. She told me she had not seen Asavela’s father since her baby was one month old. “That is why I say he died,” she said. Monde’s parents were visiting family in the Eastern Cape.

Mr Naidoo told me he and the governing body applied a strict “merit selection” policy when recommending teachers for positions at the school.

It was not always that way.

“When I came to this school, I confronted a governing body that had a different approach. Some were even prepared to accept bribes from applicants to be nominated for positions. Everything was politicised. It was difficult to change that approach. We had some conflict about it. But I knew the school would only succeed if we applied merit selection”. He recalls the backing and support he received from an outstanding senior circuit manager, Mrs Ntombi Dwane, who helped him implement the new policy.

“Today I follow a strict policy of keeping party politics out of this school. We take decisions on their merits. We employ our staff on the basis of their ability to teach our pupils,” Mr Naidoo emphasized.

This was immediately apparent as I spoke to the teachers. Their own stories show an astounding confluence of excellence and effort, influenced by the inevitable “hand of fate”. Mr Sium, for example, is an Eritrean studying actuarial science part-time at the University of Cape Town. He earns his living as Masibambane’s maths teacher.

The team ethos and mutual support were tangible. But the greatest insights came from the pupils themselves.

Asavela and Monde told me how they were able to stay at school until 9 o’clock at night, so that they could study in an environment conducive to learning. They negotiated the after-hours use of their classrooms with teachers, and worked in groups to assist others with their homework. Prefects were given the responsibility of locking up when they left. They were accountable for the state of the premises the next day.

Then Asavela made the following observation: “Monde and I would not have done so well if we were not competing with one another. We are good friends, but also competitors. That helped a lot. We will carry on as friendly competitors when we go to University.” Both will study actuarial science at UCT next year, and Mr Sium has made a commitment to continue teaching and supporting them.

I asked Mrs Rawe whether we could visit her home – two shacks in the backyard of an RDP house in Bloekombos. Her baby was asleep on her bed. She told me the tiny premature boy had spent 5 months in Tygerberg hospital, where she had remained with him. With his mother away, Asavela had spent most of his matric year taking personal responsibility for his younger siblings as well as himself. All of his belongings, including the computer he had won as a prize for his matric results, were neatly stacked in a small pile at the bottom of his narrow bed. I realised that he had come to the matric achievers function in his school uniform because it was probably the only suitable outfit he had.

Above his pillow, he had written on the shack wall in red koki: “A true gentleman is a true genius in calculation. A true legend lives on”. Those words gave him inspiration, he told me.

We then went on to visit Monde’s house. He lives with his siblings in a backyard shack of his parents’ RDP house, where he shares a bed with his brother.

The rest of the space in the shack is taken up by a rickety home-made table on which stands an ancient Dell computer.

“You must never get rid of that computer,” Asavela said to Monde. “That computer helped us to succeed”.

Monde told me that his uncle had been given the computer by his employers when they upgraded their systems. Together Monde and Asavela set it up – and through their own efforts turned this stroke of luck into yet another opportunity. At school, during the day, they downloaded matric papers and worked on them late into the night, on the old computer in the shack. “The computer kept freezing, but we kept starting it again,” said Monde.

That comment captured it all.

We often talk about the “opportunity” society. On that Saturday I saw what this idea can mean when opportunity meets singular human effort. The key priority of any government is to create real opportunities for all, so that people can use them.

It is true that “Outliers” like Asavela and Monde cannot be used as the yardstick for the rest of society. But the story of Masibambane as a school is a demonstration that many young people, of average ability, can become part of the “story of success”. There is no reason why this cannot become South Africa’s story too.

Notes: And so many of us in Recovery have become ‘success stories’ through the ‘Miracle of Recovery’… and it is time that we start sharing our stories … We are Living Proof that Recovery IS a Reality.


Revovery IS a Reality – Letter to the Editor

Letter published in the Cape Argus, Monday June 29th 2009, pg. 11.

The Editor                                                                                      27June 2009

Cape Argus

Dear Sir,


We all know about the destructiveness of drug abuse, and every week we read about more horrors, more violence, more crime that is directly attributed to drug abuse.

The disease of alcohol and drug abuse – described by some experts as a ‘social health nightmare –  is an epidemic of global proportions affecting millions of individuals, families, work places and communities.

The number of young people engaged in drug experimentation and regular use is alarming and demands urgent attention.

Addiction wreaks devastation, and respects no boundaries of income, race, occupation or geography. Crime is out of hand, and more than 80% of reported crime is drug related. Violence is entrenched in our families and more than 70% of gender abuse is drug related.

A conservative estimate of the health and other social cost associated with drug abuse in South Africa is R 12 billion per year. Drug trafficking also continue to foment corruption, one of the most formidable obstacles to good governance.

Yet, having just observed the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking last Friday, the silence about addiction is entrenched in communities, workplaces, our churches, and in our homes.

This monster is living in our homes, yet we still ignore its presence.

It is easy for people to talk about their heart disease or kidney disease or diabetes or hypertension. Yet, the Disease of Addiction?

Generally our society still views drinking and drug use as a behaviour of choice or a moral failing instead of a health issue.

People impacted by addiction are reticent about asking for help as society at large still perpetuating norms that foster shame and stigma.

We tend to think of alcohol and drug problems in terms of junkies and alcoholics who need to be treated to overcome their addiction.

Of course providing treatment is important because it is likely to benefit treated individuals, yet it is not enough.

No matter how effective treatment is for the individual, if the family and community dynamics contributing to these problems are unchanged, it will do little to reduce the overall level of harm experienced at the family and community level.

Our health system traditionally addresses addiction when a crisis occurs: car wrecks, violence, criminal arrests, or firing from a job.

We act as though entry to a treatment centre is the beginning of the disease. The illness’s emerging symptoms and the remarkable fact or recovery remain below society’s awareness level. Both aspects of this inattention breed the ignorance and misinformation that cost us all so much pain and money.

Responding to the symptoms of addiction when they present themselves is consistent with the fact that alcoholism and drug addiction is a primary, chronic, and progressive disease.

Early awareness and early intervention lead to early recovery. Better education and life skills are needed to inform young people about the devastating effects of drugs, and to help them resist the pressures to experiment.

Efforts need to be in place to raise awareness.  Drugs are illegal because they are a problem, and not a problem because they are illegal. Drug education is HIV/Aids prevention.

Governments, NGO’s, schools, the workplace and the media must work hand-in-hand. Our collective efforts must focus especially on young people through education, outreach, peer-to-peer networks, and using platforms such as such as sport, music and entertainment that inspire young people.

Equally important is to engage parents, teachers and employers to play their part in full. Our efforts also require working to reduce supply. The light of science and not the darkness of fear and ignorance should guide these efforts.

Individuals and families who have survived addiction should now become visible and vocal stakeholders. Recovery is a Reality.

The good news is that today we enjoy a generation of people in recovery that is ready and willing to speak out and take on the role of mentors.

History teaches us that the voices of survivors, their family members and allies drive public responses to major illness.

Addiction is no exception. Recovery from addiction is happening for thousands of South Africans – rich and poor, young and old, executives and school drop-outs, women and men, black and white, country and city dwellers.

Achieving a stable, productive and fulfilling life is, in fact, a reality when proven solutions are applied. Appropriately diagnosed and treated cases of addiction yield many happy outcomes: Recovery happens. Families heal. Money is saved. Life gets better. Recovering people give back. Everyone wins.

We need to take responsibility to heal ourselves, our families and our communities. We need to embrace the hope of recovery, and  the spirit of courage, knowing  that Recovery is a Reality!

Yours Faithfully,

Jurgens Smit

Executive Director



International Drug Awareness Day – 26 June 09

Call for Action

Call for Action

26 June 09 – International Drug Awareness Day.



Teens in South Africa Smoke Anti-Retroviral Drug for Cheap High

No Turning Back’: Teens Abuse HIV Drugs

A drug intended to treat HIV and AIDS is sweeping the townships of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is cheap and powerfully addictive.

South Africa has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world and KwaZulu-Natal province has the highest rate in South Africa — 40 percent. For the infected, anti-retroviral drugs, or ARVs, are the only things standing between life and a painful death.

The drug is so cheap and plentiful, thanks in part to a well-meaning effort by the American government to distribute ARV’, a program that has helped extend the lives of more than 500,000 AIDS patients.
But as the medical director of one U.S.-funded clinic said, ARV abuse is threatening to turn an HIV success story into a health crisis.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Dr. Njabulo Masabo, from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “It’s extremely, you know, discouraging because on one end you’re trying to fight this epidemic that has ravaged the world so much … the results are catastrophic.”

How ARV abuse began is uncertain. Taken as prescribed, Efavirenz can cause vivid dreams. Someone — possibly an HIV patient experimenting — discovered that smoking the drug greatly enhances those hallucinations.
Today, some of the illegal drugs come from HIV patients selling their own lifesaving medication for profit. Others are stolen from patients or pharmacies.

Pharmacies in the townships have banklike security. The drugs are kept behind vault doors, because they have an enormous black market value. Just one container of the ARVs is worth $60, and a whole shelf is worth $3,000.
Driving through the townships, a local AIDS health worker named Zola Shezi showed us the extent of the black market in ARVs. She saw drug dens everywhere; one she identified had children playing right outside.
“Just here, the man he owns the house, he built all these rooms … one, there’s one room where his customers stay and crush and do things.”

The few police we saw did nothing.

In just three years, ARVs have grown from a niche drug abused by a small number of HIV patients into a widespread addiction, increasingly among young people.

Many ARV abusers are young students, and in a neighborhood like the one we visited you’ll find dealers on almost every street, selling to students during school hours and just after.

In his house that doubles as a drug den, we met one of the dealers face-to-face. Dinda — he gave us a false name to hide his identity — said he earns many times what he could make, if he could find a job.

He acknowledged that the drugs are meant for people with HIV, but said “nobody can give me that money while I’m sitting at home; I have to go and do something for money.”

Recounting a story that’s not unusual in the area, he said he’s the only one of eight siblings still alive. His siblings were all victims of HIV or gang violence, leaving him to take care of a large, extended family.

“I’m unemployed, four of these years I am not working, if I can stop this we can all suffer,” he said. “So they shouldn’t blame me for what I’m trying to make a living out of.”

HIV Could Build Resistance to Medication

For families of abusers, it’s a very different story. ARVs are powerful enough to turn even young people into violent addicts. We met Dudu, who told us her 21-year-old son steals from her to pay for his habit.

“Sometimes if I said I’m going to call the police he said he going to kill me,” she said. “I believe him.”

Now, South Africa may soon face a deadly consequence of ARV addiction. By smoking the drug, abusers are in effect giving HIV a small taste of anti-retroviral medication — not enough to kill the virus, but enough for it to potentially develop resistance to the drug.

It’s like “educating the HIV,” said Masabo. “And so you’ll find that we have a second epidemic emerging, an epidemic that we cannot control with the current drug that we have.”

Back in the drug den, the teenage addict Joshua told us what happens to HIV patients isn’t his problem.
“I feel guilty sometimes, but hey. I know what I’m doing is wrong, but what I’ve started I must carry on.”
The cemeteries of South Africa are already crowded with victims of HIV. Now, a new danger is threatening to put the country’s best defense up in smoke.

Read JIM SCIUTTO’s story here:

Die Hel van Verslawing

Van die hemel tot die dieptes van die hel

Mense gebruik dwelms omdat dit hulle fantasties laat voel. Maar hulle het nie ’n benul van die enorme breinskade wat die nuwe soorte dwelms kan aanrig nie. Ook dokters en psigiaters begin nou eers dié skade op breinskanderings sien
Deur David Moseley en die Health24-span

VAN DIE toppunt van ekstase tot in die dieptes van die hel. Binne ’n oogwink. En dan: Breinskade vir die res van jou lewe.

Dis wat die jongste straatdwelms aan jou kan doen.

En selfs ná jy opgehou het daarmee, kan hierdie dwelms die delikate weefsels van jou brein verskroei, sodat jy verander in ’n monster wat tot die allerverskriklikste geweld in staat is. Of net in ’n donker moeras van depressie versink waaruit NIKS jou weer sal kan verlos nie.

Maak nie saak watter dwelm jy beproef nie, al is dit net vir één aand se rave, jy kan maar weet jy speel met vuur. Dit wat jy daar rook of snuif, sluk of spuit, gaan jou brein met die geweld van ’n weerligstraal tref.

Dis nie sedebewakers, onderwysers en predikante wat só sê nie. Dis geharde polisiemanne, chemiese wetenskaplikes en psigiaters wat die uitwerking van dié dwelms met verbystering aanskou.

Vergeet maar alles wat jy gedink het jy van dwelms weet. Niks kan jou voorberei op die verskrikking wat nou deur charlie en rock, crystal, hot ice, china white en liquid ecstasy gesaai word nie.

En dis nie elders nie, dis hier, in doodgewone buurte, in ons skole en universiteite waar dit gebeur onder gewone tieners wat net pret wil hê en grootmense wat van beter behoort te weet.

Die hippies en dwelms van ’n vorige era begin soos ’n kindertuin lyk. Vandag se dwelms is soveel kragtiger, werk soveel intenser op jou in, bring jou tot ekstatiese hoogtepunte van euforie en energie, en slinger jou daarna in die dieptes neer. Dis nie verniet dat hulle sê jy ‘crash’ nie.

Tot dusver het niemand geweet watter verwoesting hierdie chemiese geweld in jou brein saai nie. Nou begin ons weet. En dis ’n skrikwekkende gesig.

  • Psigiaters sien die skisofreniese wrakke wat voor hulle sit.
  • Verloskundiges staan met babas wat met hul derms buitekant hul lyfies gebore is.
  • Polisiemanne hanteer die slagoffers van meedoënlose misdade.
  • Neuroloë peil met die jongste tegnologie vir die eerste keer werklik die omvang van die breinskade wat aangerig is.

As jy dink dít is erg, dan moet jy jou staal vir die volgende dwelmgolf wat die land gaan tref, sê superintendent Casper Venter van die SAPD se forensiese laboratoriums.

Daar is die dwelm yellow honey, ’n dodelike nuwe vorm van marijuana, wat sewe keer sterker as gewone dagga is en tot ’n “inploffing” in jou brein kan lei.

Dit het onlangs in Los Angeles kop uitgesteek. Die SAPD se narkotikaburo voorspel dat dit binnekort in Suid-Afrika vastrapplek kan kry en dat dit die tikprobleem na ’n piekniek gaan laat lyk.

Plaaslike dwelms is nie veel veiliger nie. ’n Mens het geen idee van wat werklik in daardie middels skuil wat êrens in ’n toilet, huis of pakkamer vervaardig word nie.

Straatdwelms word dikwels met die hoogs verslawende heroïen gemeng om te verseker dat jy fisiek afhanklik raak.

Mense besef ook nie altyd hoe gekonsentreerd straatdwelms kan wees nie; dis soms tot 1 500 keer meer as die dosis wat die liggaam met veiligheid kan hanteer.

Dis soos om vuurpylbrandstof in ’n stokou kar te gooi.

Dis ook moontlik dat straatdwelms skadelike onsuiwerhede kan bevat. ’n Voorbeeld is ’n chemiese stof in Mandraxpille wat longkanker kan veroorsaak.

Op die spoor van dwelmgebruik volg die misdade wat daarmee saamhang.

“Ons sien ál meer dat as iemand vermoor word, hy nie een keer gesteek of geskiet word nie, maar sommer sestig keer. Tikgebruik verander die chemiese werking van die brein en stomp die verbruiker af.

Om iemand te verkrag of dood te maak, is vir hom niks nie,” sê Casper.

Die nege algemeenste straatdwelms

Die middels wat hier bespreek word, is onwettig en word gelys in die Dwelmwet, Wet 140/92.

Die algemeenste straatdwelms wat in Suid-Afrika misbruik word, kan geklassifiseer word volgens hul uitwerking op die brein.

Daar is drie hoofklasse: Opkikkers (stimulante), onderdrukkers (depressante) en hallusinogene (wat jou vreemde dinge laat ervaar).


Hieronder tel kokaïen, crack, Ecstasy, tik, crystal meths, amfetamiene, efedrien en Khat. Dié middels stimuleer die brein en verhoog die hartklop. Jong mense gebruik dit om hulle sterker en meer energiek en doelgerig te laat voel.

Tipiese tekens van die gebruik van stimulante is ’n kleiner eetlus, hope energie, slapeloosheid, vergrote pupille, spraaksaamheid, prikkelbaarheid, angs, hiperaktiwiteit, skielike buiveranderings, ongeduld en senuagtigheid.

1. Kokaïen

Blow, charlie, coke

Dié dwelm, wat jou verstand beïnvloed, word van die kokabos in Peru, Bolivia en ander bergagtige lande vervaardig en was eens die glansdwelm van die rykes en bekendes, maar deesdae eksperimenteer ál meer kinders daarmee.

Die hemel:
’n Gevoel van opgewektheid, euforie, hiperaktiwiteit, selfvertroue, verhoogde bewustheid en onbeperkte energie.Dié opwelling vind plaas vyf tot tien minute nadat die kokaïen gesnuif is.

Die hel:
Party gebruikers ervaar hoofpyn, bewerigheid, angstigheid en slapeloosheid ná ’n enkele dosis. Groter dosisse kan tot ’n gekners van die tande en kompulsiewe gedrag soos ’n gekrap en vingergetrommel lei. Gebruikers kan stemme hoor en hewige vervolgingswaansin kry. Hulle kan angstig voel, irrasioneel dink en ook aggressief word. ’n Oordosis kan rukkings, paniekaanvalle, hartversaking, beroerte, asemhalingsprobleme en die dood veroorsaak.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Jou polsslag en bloeddruk styg en jou pupille vergroot. Mettertyd sal jy uitgeteer lyk, jou seksdrif sal afneem en jy sal gereeld verkoue en ’n loopneus kry.

Kortliks: Jy sal verskriklik gehawend lyk. Kokaïen is sielkundig en fisiek verslawend. As die euforie eers verby is, smag gebruikers na nog stimulering.

Uitwerking op die brein:
Kokaïen meng in met die natuurlike afskeiding van dopamien en serotonien, die brein se chemiese boodskappers wat jou lekker laat voel. Dit veroorsaak ophopings van hierdie breinoordragstowwe en gee aanleiding tot die welbekende “kruin”wat gebruikers ervaar. Die vreesaanjaende feit is egter dat kokaïen die breinoordragstowwe uiteindelik so kan uitput dat dit depressie, apatie, moegheid, angstigheid en selfmoordneigings kan veroorsaak wat maande kan duur.
As die uitputting algeheel en blywend is, sal selfs die beste antidepressante nie werk nie en jy kan dalk nooit in staat wees om uit dié donker dieptes te ontsnap nie.Jy kan ook Parkinson se siekte ontwikkel wat jou op ’n vroeë leeftyd soos ’n bejaarde sal laat bewe.

2. Crack

Rocks, freebase

Crack is ’n goedkoop vorm van kokaïen wat deur bymiddels in rookbare rocks omskep word. Dis ’n gekonsentreerde vorm van kokaïen en om op te hou, is drie keer moeiliker as met ander dwelms.

Die hemel:
Jy voel welgeluksalig, opgewek en eufories. Die hoogtepunt is intens, maar duur maar ’n rapsie meer as tien minute.

Die hel:
Die gevoel van euforie word vinnig opgevolg deur net so ’n intense gevoel van depressie, wat die behoefte skep om weer en weer te rook. Dié siklus van kruine en insinkings lei tot ’n verslawing wat vinniger as enige ander dwelm posvat. Die risiko van ’n oordosis is ook baie hoog.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Dieselfde as kokaïen, maar intenser. Gebruikers kan “sneeuligte” of stralekranse sien. Hul polsslag kan onreëlmatig raak, wat ’n hartaanvalrisiko verhoog.

Uitwerking op die brein:
Omdat dit gerook word, bereik ’n hoë dosis die brein binne minder as tien sekondes – met ’n vyf tot tien keer hoër konsentrasie as kokaïen (wat gesnuif word). Dit verander die biochemiese toestand van die brein en put die voorraad van dopamien en serotonien, twee goedvoel-oordragstowwe, uit.
Hierdie skade kan blywend wees, wat tot voortdurende paranoia, selfmoordneigings en depressie, of hewige woedeaanvalle kan lei.

3. Ice

Crystals, crystal, meth, rock, candy, batu, glass, LA glass, super ice, hot ice, LA crystal, Hawaiian salt

Hierdie nuwer vorm van gekristalliseerde metamfetamien is byna 100 persent suiwer. Dis reukloos, word in glaspype gerook en is dodeliker as crack en kokaïen en blykbaar verslawender.

Die hemel:
Rokers voel binne sekondes ’n intense opwelling van fisieke en geestelike opwinding. Die uitwerking kan van vier tot veertien uur aanhou.

Die hel:
’n Intense angs- en depressiegevoel, slapeloosheid, moegheid en uiteindelik raak jy die kluts kwyt. ’n Toestand soortgelyk aan paranoïese skisofrenie kan ook op swaar gebruik volg.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Gebruikers het groter en groter dosisse nodig vir dieselfde kruin. Langdurige gebruik beskadig die longe, lewer en niere.

Uitwerking op die brein:
Breinskade soos met tik, maar in ’n nog erger graad.

4. Ecstacy

XTC, e, Adam, MDMA

Ecstasy is ’n “rave”- of “paartie’’-dwelm en word dikwels gebruik om nagdeur te kan dans. Dis ’n saamgeflanste dwelm of dwelmkonkoksie, soos tik. Hoekom het dit so ’n cool naam? Omdat metieleendioksiemetamfetamien (MDMA) vir selfs die mees gesoute dwelmslaaf een te veel sal wees.

Die hemel:
Daar is ’n verhoogde gevoel van plesier, verhoogde selfvertroue en hope energie, vreedsaamheid, aanvaarding en empatie. Die kruin-fase duur tussen vier en ses uur.

Die hel:
Gebruikers kan onduidelik sien, baie sweet en op hul tande kners of die binnekant van hul wange byt. Hulle kan begin ruk, naar voel, opgooi en epileptiese aanvalle kry. Gereelde of langdurige gebruik of groot dosisse kan jou in ’n hoogs depressiewe, paranoïese mens verander wat angsaanvalle kry.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Ecstasy kan selfs in klein dosisse gevaarlik wees vir mense met hartsiektes en asma. Groot dosisse kan tot oorverhitting van die liggaam en brein, waterterughouding, beroerte en hartaanvalle lei.

Uitwerking op die brein:
Ecstasy beïnvloed jou brein deur minstens drie brein-oordragstowwe te laat toeneem (serotonien, dopamien en norepinefrien) en wanneer dit hierdie voorraad uitput, veral die serotonienvoorraad, is ernstige depressie gewoonlik jou voorland.
Psigiaters sê hulle sien al meer hoe Ecstacy-gebruikers se kop uithaak en hulle blywende breinskade kry.

Baie saamgeflanste straatdwelms of dwelmkonkoksies (met die misleidende naam designer drugs) word aan naïewe of desperate gebruikers verkoop as heroïen- of kokaïen-plaasvervangers. Omdat jy nie weet wat jy koop nie, is die gevaar groot dat jy ’n oordosis kan inkry.

5. Metamfetamien

Tik, tik-tik, crystal, meth, crystal meth, crank, uppers, speed

Tik is ’n dwelmkonkoksie en word verkoop as poeiers, pille en kapsules wat gesnuif, gerook of ingespuit word. Dit kan tuis gemaak word uit medisyne wat oor die toonbank te koop is.

Die hemel
Net soos kokaïen en crack lei tik tot ’n toename in wakkerheid en meer energie, selfvertroue, seksdrif en euforie.

Die hel:
Aggressie, geweld, psigotiese gedrag, geheueverlies en hart- en breinskade. Langtermyn-gebruikers kan feitlik seker wees van slapeloosheid, psigotiese episodes, vervolgingswaansin, hallusinasies en ineenstorting.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Bewende hande, verhoogde polsslag en kwaai sweet. ’n Oordosis kan koors en hartversaking veroorsaak. Langtermyngebruik maak die gevaar groter dat jy hepatitis C of MIV opdoen omdat dit ingespuit word en tot hoërisiko- seksuele gedrag lei.

Uitwerking op die brein
Tik werk as ’n stimulant, net soos kokaïen. Dit bly egter veel langer in die liggaam. Die uitputting van die brein se dopamienvoorraad is uiters kommerwekkend. ’n Tik-verslaafde verloor elke twee jaar tot die helfte van sy dopamienvoorraad, teenoor die vyf tot tien persent elke tien jaar vir die gemiddelde mens.

Dopamien help gekoördineerde bewegings reguleer en sodra die vlak met vyftien persent daal, ontwikkel die slagoffer Parkinson se siekte, wat gekenmerk word deur bewerige en rukkerige hande en kop. In die Wes-Kaap is daar jong tik-gebruikers wat reeds aan Parkinson se siekte ly.

Psigiaters is ook besorg oor die toename in gevalle van skisofrenie en psigoses onder tikgebruikers.

Dit lyk of tik mense se breine so beskadig dat hulle soos uiters aggressiewe psigopate begin optree. Dít word weerspieël in die Narkotikaburo se bevestiging dat moorde en verkragtings deur tik-gebruikers sinloser en aggressiewer raak.

Die babas van vroue wat tik tydens hul swangerskap gebruik, het ’n groter kans om al in hul kinderjare Parkinson se siekte te ontwikkel.

Nog erger: Dié babas se derms ontwikkel aan die buitekant van hul lyfies. Babas met dié afwyking word gereeld in sekere hospitale in die Skiereiland gebore.

Dié middels onderdruk of vertraag sekere breinfunksies. Afhangend van watter deel van die brein onderdruk word, word dit in subgroepe verdeel, naamlik narkotiese of verdowende middels soos heroïen of middels wat jou slaperig kan maak soos onder meer Mandrax.

6. Heroïen

Smack, mud, China white, brown, Mexican brown, brown sugar, gear, H, horse, junk

Heroïen word vervaardig van die hars van die opium-papawer en is die gevaarlikste en verslawendste dwelm. Suiwer heroïen is ’n wit, reuklose, kristalagtige poeier met ’n bitter smaak. Hoe bruiner die kleur, hoe meer onsuiwerhede bevat dit.
Dit word dikwels versny met stysel, suiker soos glukose, poeiermelk, babapoeier, waspoeier, strignien of selfs ander gifstowwe voordat dit verkoop word. Dit word gerook, gesnuif of ingespuit.

Die hemel:
’n Diepgaande gevoel van warmte en welsyn deurspoel die gebruiker en blokkeer alle gewaarwordings van pyn en onsekerheid.

Die hel:
Binne ses tot agt uur kan simptome soos naarheid, braking, koudkry, hewige gesweet en spier- en beenpyne volg. Die eintlike hel begin met die intrede van onttrekkingsimptome wat binne twee dae ná die laaste fix kan begin.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Heel eerste lei dit tot pyn-onderdrukking, lomerigheid, swaarheid van die ledemate, vlak asemhaling, ’n swak pols, droë mond en erg vernoude pupille. Langtermyngebruik lei tot lewerskade en vergiftiging as gevolg van bymiddels, bakteriële besmetting, absesse, infeksie van die hartvoering en -kleppe, en artritis.
Babas van ma’s wat gedurende hul swangerskap heroïen gebruik, kan verslaaf gebore word.

Uitwerking op die brein:
In die brein verander heroïen vinnig in morfien, wat aan sekere reseptors bind om die gevoel van geluksaligheid te gee. Maar die brein reageer op dié bindings deur minder van sy eie goedvoel-endorfiene te vervaardig. Heroïen mors die chemiese balans in die brein só op dat die gebruiker begin om pyn te ervaar sonder dat daar enige beserings is.
Onvoorspelbare bui-veranderings en verwarring is die gevolg van die veranderde chemiese stowwe in die brein.

7. Mandrax

Whites, Buttons

Suid-Afrika het die hoogste misbruik per kop in die wêreld en die mandrax- (metakwaloon-) tablette word gewoonlik fyngemaak en saam met ’n mengsel van dagga of tabak in ’n bottelnekpyp, ’n sogenaamde white pipe of “witwyf”, gerook.

Die hemel:
Jy voel heeltemal ontspanne, vreedsaam en sorgeloos. Niks ter wêreld kan jou skeel nie.

Die hel:
As jy te veel rook, sal jy naar voel, of bewusteloos of heeltemal bedwelm raak.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Mandrax- gebruikers kan fisieke en sielkundige afhanklikheid van die dwelm ontwikkel en aanhoudend daarna smag. Hulle het al hoe meer daarvan nodig om die gewenste uitwerking te kry.

Uitwerking op die brein:
Mandraxgebruik verander die brein-chemikalieë met die gevolg dat die gebruiker soos ’n zombie word weens die onderdrukking van die werking van die brein.

Hierdie psigedeliese dwelms vervorm ’n mens se werklikheid heeltemal en dompel die gebruiker in ’n droomwêreld waar alles vervorm is, en kleure hoorbaar en klanke sigbaar word. As groot hoeveelhede gebruik word, kan dit jou brein deurmekaarkrap en sinsbedrog en hallusinasies veroorsaak. Dit versnel ook die brein, wat gemoedskommelinge van euforie tot die diepste depressie tot gewelddadigheid kan veroorsaak. Partykeer kan die verlies van identiteit en depressie so erg raak dat dit tot selfmoord kan lei.

8. Kannabis

Marijuana, dagga, dope, grass, ghanja, weed

In Suid-Afrika word kannabis op die platteland gekweek en verkoop om die pot aan die kook te hou. Die cannabis-plant bevat meer as 426 bekende chemikalieë, onder meer stowwe wat bekendstaan as THC (tetrahidrokannabinol).

Die hemel:
Jy voel eufories en ontspanne.

Die hel:
Paniekaanvalle, hallusinasies, terugflitse en geheueverlies kan voorkom.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Dit veroorsaak sinusitis en brongitis en kan tot longkanker lei. Onvrugbaarheid by mans en vroue, miskrame, doodgeboorte en vroeë sterfte by babas is van die ander gevare.
Fetale marijuana-sindroom – gekenmerk deur lae geboortegewig en ontwikkelingsabnormaliteite – kom vyf keer meer voor as fetale alkoholsindroom.

Uitwerking op die brein:
THC verander die brein-chemikalieë wat jou gevoelens, geheue, sintuie en bewegingskoördinasie beheer.

9. LSD

Acid, blotter acid, microdot, white lightning

LSD is ’n geurlose en kleurlose dwelm wat in twee vorms beskikbaar is: LSD-papier wat met LSD deurdrenk is; of mikrotablette (“microdots”) wat ’n baie lae konsentrasie LSD bevat.

Die hemel:
Dit voel asof jou sintuie omgeruil is, wat jou laat voel asof jy kleure hoor en klanke sien. As jy genoeg LSD neem, veroorsaak dit illusies en visuele hallusinasies.

Die hel:
Geestesafwykings soos skisofrenie en hewige depressie kan deur die gebruik van LSD aangebring word.

Uitwerking op die liggaam:
Verhoogde polsslag en bloeddruk, gevoelloosheid en swakheid.

Uitwerking op die brein:
LSD beïnvloed ’n groot aantal chemikalieë in die brein, insluitende dopamien en serotonien. Dit lyk of die dwelm moontlik die vlakke van die stof glutamaat in baie spesifieke dele van die brein verhoog, wat die breinselle oorstimuleer en ’n “elektriese storm”in die brein ontketen.
Elke elektriese storm kan tot blywende breinveranderings lei.


Nuwe tegnologie stel dokters in staat om mikroskopiese areas van die brein – die gebiede wat die meeste deur dwelmgebruik beïnvloed word – te bekyk.

Die een metode is die sogenaamde Brain SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography), waar gammastrale gebruik word om twee- of driedimensionele beelde van aktiewe breingebiede te skep.

Met ’n brein-SPECT kan dokters kyk na die skade wat deur verskillende dwelms as gevolg van aangetaste bloedtoevloei aangerig is, verduidelik dr. Pieter Botha van die radiologie-departement by Tygerberg-hospitaal in Kaapstad.

Dwelms soos alkohol, kokaïen en dagga tas die doetreffendheid van bloedvate in die brein aan en belemmer die bloedtoevoer na sekere gebiede.

Op skanderings verskyn die aangetaste dele as “gate” in die brein. Die skanderings hierbo wys die brein-SPECT’e van drie verskillende crack-gebruikers.

Die kleure op die skandering dui breinaktiwiteitsvlakke aan. Rooi is die beste en geel, groen en blou dui die areas met laer aktiwiteit in afnemende volgorde aan.


1.       Die eksperimentele stadium.

2.       Die geleentheidsgebruikfase. Jy probeer nie die dwelm aktief verkry nie, maar aanvaar dit as vriende jou dit aanbied.

3.       Die tyd van gereelde gebruik. Jy kry self die dwelm en maak seker dat jy altyd voorraad byderhand het. Jy gebruik dwelms een tot twee keer per week.

4.       Die fase van afhanklikheid of verslawing. In dié stadium sal dwelms die grootste deel van jou lewe uitmaak, en enige poging om jou van die dwelm te skei, sal aansienlike weerstand uitlok.

5.       Dwelmafhanklikheid is ’n dodelike siekte indien dit nie behandel word nie. Dit is al met reg beskryf as ’n reis na nêrens.


Al hoe meer dwelms word deesdae chemies só vervaardig dat dit gerook kan word, omdat die effek dan vinniger ervaar kan word.

Wanneer ’n mens tik (metamfetamien) rook, bereik dit binne dertig sekondes die brein en raak jy ‘hoog’, maar as jy dit sluk, neem dit tien tot vyftien minute om by die brein uit te kom.

Bronne: Drugs and Drug Abuse in Southern Africa, Sylvain de Miranda (Van Schaik, 1987) en Donker Liefde, My Verhouding met Heroïen, Anoux Venter, (Tafelberg- Uitgewers, 2007).

Dié artikel is saamgestel met die hulp van een van Suid-Afrika se voorste dwelmkenners, superintendent Casper Venter, chemikus van die chemie-eenheid van die forensiese wetenskap-laboratorium van die SAPD; senior superintendent Deven Naicker, die nasionale hoof van dwelms van die Suid- Afrikaanse Polisiediens; en die Mediese Navorsingsraad.


10 Steps to an excellent life ….

I was emailed this excellent article by Ronya Banks.

Practised on a daily basis, what an amazing tool to

stay in the NOW. Read on: …

Quote:  “Its never too late to be what you might have been”  



Top 10 Ways to Raise Your Consciousness

By Ronya Banks 

Life can be a GIFT or a NIGHTMARE, depending on where you choose to operate from consciously. Practiced regularly, the following 10 tips will assist you in shining your beautiful unique light so brightly that your resulting raised consciousness will be a GIFT to yourself, humanity, and the Cosmos.

1. Forgive yourself and others.

 Life is too short to hold on to regrets, grudges, miscommunications, or disappointments. Free yourself by forgiving and letting go of any negative energy you’re holding on to about yourself and/or others. There are many ways to do this. One way is to write down anything you’re ready to let go of and ceremonially tear it into small pieces and throw it away as you forgive. You may even choose to verbally forgive anyone you’ve been resenting. Either way, the process of forgiving yourself and others will result in your feeling light and free, and consequently raise your vibration.

2. Practice gratitude and appreciation.

Whatever you focus on grows. So, when you focus on every thing in your life you have to feel grateful for and all the wonderful people you appreciate, the universe hands you more to feel grateful about. It’s a wonderfully reciprocal consciousness raising process.

 3. Live each day as though it were your last.

If today was your last known day in this lifetime, with what type of people would you surround yourself? What would you say to the people you care about? What personal gifts would you make sure you imparted to humanity and the earth? Live each day as if it was your last, and you will be living in a state of light, love and unconditional contribution.

 4. Meditate/Pray.

You open up a direct link between yourself and the spiritual realm when you meditate and/or pray. Meditation and prayer can be used to bring you closer to your creator energy, raise your vibration, bring you peace, clarity, joy, and connection, as well assist you in experiencing a perfectly balanced state between your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.

5. Suspend judgment.

This world is laden with judgment, irresponsibility, and finger pointing. One judges another to feel less guilty about one’s own misgivings. Judgment energy is dense, dark, and heavy. On the other hand, unconditional acceptance is light, free, and accepting. Let go of judging and criticizing yourself and others. Everyone is on a different path, and some appear to be further ahead on their path than others. Neither path is better nor worse than another. Raise your consciousness to one of acceptance.

6. View every experience as a GIFT.

If you look back at occurrences in your life, you can easily see how even the worst situations you experienced in your life ended up teaching you invaluable lessons and therefore ended up putting you in the perfect place for your continuing development. When you view every experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly as a GIFT, life flows more like a gentle, inspiring breeze.

 7. Stay consciously aware of all of your thoughts and feelings.

Until you raise the consciousness of the entire human race, it is extremely easy to fall back in to all pervasive negative patterns of complaining and feeling like a victim of society and a victim of your life. To stay out of these patterns, check in with yourself your present thoughts and feelings several times a day. When you catch yourself in the Negative zone, don’t feel badly about it and beat yourself up. Simply choose to switch your consciousness to one of gratitude and positive thinking. Remain conscious.

8. Treat your physical body as your temple.

Your body is the only vehicle you’ve been given for this ride called “LIFE.” The better you care for your body by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and by implementing a regular exercise routine, and by giving your body the rest it requires, the more you will experience increased energy, vitality, joy, and freedom. Honor, love, appreciate and take extra good care of your body, and you will be raising your energy and your consciousness.

9. View the world through the eyes of a child.

Observe a baby or a young child. It won’t take you long to notice that young children are constantly totally enthralled by the process of observing and experiencing the wonder and beauty in every single thing, color, texture, and person they meet. They can’t get enough! Look at every tree, sunset, cloud, and human being as a child would and you’ll be in a constant state of wonder, joy, surprise, acceptance, and enlightenment.

 10. Give LOVE, LOVE, LOVE from your heart.

 It’s all about love. Do you remember the feeling of being in love for the first time? Why was it so wonderful? That’s because love is the highest vibration. Allow yourself to receive love unconditionally from others. Give love from your heart unconditionally to yourself and others, and you will experience the highest state of consciousness possible.

– About the Submitter:  This piece was originally submitted by Ronya Banks, Degrees in both Psychology and Computer Programming, as well as certification in extensive leadership trainings, Life coach, trainer, business owner, entrepreneur, mother, writer, and mentor, who can be reached at, or visited on the web.