Understanding Addiction

“Oops: How Casual Drug Use Leads to Addiction”

By Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

It is an all-too-common scenario: A person experiments with an addictive drug like cocaine. Perhaps he intends to try it just once, for “the experience” of it. It turns out, though, that he enjoys the drug’s euphoric effect so much that in ensuing weeks and months he uses it again — and again. But in due time, he decides he really should quit. He knows that despite the incomparable short-term high he gets from using cocaine, the long-term consequences of its use are perilous. So he vows to stop using it.

His brain, however, has a different agenda. It now demands cocaine. While his rational mind knows full well that he shouldn’t use it again, his brain overrides such warnings. Unbeknown to him, repeated use of cocaine has brought about dramatic changes in both the structure and function of his brain. In fact, if he’d known the danger signs for which to be on the lookout, he would have realized that the euphoric effect derived from cocaine use is itself a sure sign that the drug is inducing a change in the brain — just as he would have known that as time passes, and the drug is used with increasing regularity, this change becomes more pronounced, and indelible, until finally his brain has become addicted to the drug.

And so, despite his heartfelt vow never again to use cocaine, he continues using it. Again and again.

His drug use is now beyond his control. It is compulsive. He is addicted.

While this turn of events is a shock to the drug user, it is no surprise at all to researchers who study the effects of addictive drugs. To them, it is a predictable outcome.

To be sure, no one ever starts out using drugs intending to become a drug addict. All drug users are just trying it, once or a few times. Every drug user starts out as an occasional user, and that initial use is a voluntary and controllable decision. But as time passes and drug use continues, a person goes from being a voluntary to a compulsive drug user. This change occurs because over time, use of addictive drugs changes the brain — at times in big dramatic toxic ways, at others in more subtle ways, but always in destructive ways that can result in compulsive and even uncontrollable drug use.

The fact is, drug addiction is a brain disease. While every type of drug of abuse has its own individual “trigger” for affecting or transforming the brain, many of the results of the transformation are strikingly similar regardless of the addictive drug that is used — and of course in each instance the result is compulsive use. The brain changes range from fundamental and long-lasting changes in the biochemical makeup of the brain, to mood changes, to changes in memory processes and motor skills. And these changes have a tremendous impact on all aspects of a person’s behavior. In fact, in addiction the drug becomes the single most powerful motivator in the life of the drug user. He will do virtually anything for the drug.

This unexpected consequence of drug use is what I have come to call the oops phenomenon. Why oops? Because the harmful outcome is in no way intentional. Just as no one starts out to have lung cancer when they smoke, or no one starts out to have clogged arteries when they eat fried foods which in turn usually cause heart attacks, no one starts out to become a drug addict when they use drugs. But in each case, though no one meant to behave in a way that would lead to tragic health consequences, that is what happened just the same, because of the inexorable, and undetected, destructive biochemical processes at work.

While we haven’t yet pinpointed precisely all the triggers for the changes in the brain’s structure and function that culminate in the “oops” phenomenon, a vast body of hard evidence shows that it is virtually inevitable that prolonged drug use will lead to addiction. From this we can soundly conclude that drug addiction is indeed a brain disease.

I realize that this flies in the face of the notion that drug addiction boils down to a serious character flaw — that those addicted to drugs are just too weak-willed to quit drug use on their own. But the moral weakness notion itself flies in the face of all scientific evidence, and so it should be discarded.

t should be stressed, however, that to assert that drug addiction is a brain disease is by no means the same thing as saying that those addicted to drugs are not accountable for their actions, or that they are just unwitting, hapless victims of the harmful effects that use of addictive drugs has on their brains, and in every facet of their lives.

Just as their behavior at the outset was pivotal in putting them on a collision course with compulsive drug use, their behavior after becoming addicted is just as critical if they are to be effectively treated and to recover.

At minimum, they have to adhere to their drug treatment regimen. But this can pose an enormous challenge. The changes in their brain that turned them into compulsive users make it a daunting enough task to control their actions and complete treatment. Making it even more difficult is the fact that their craving becomes more heightened and irresistible whenever they are exposed to any situation that triggers a memory of the euphoric experience of drug use. Little wonder, then, that most compulsive drug users can’t quit on their own, even if they want to (for instance, at most only 7 percent of those who try in any one year to quit smoking cigarettes on their own actually succeed). This is why it is essential that they enter a drug treatment program, even if they don’t want to at the outset.

Clearly, a host of biological and behavioral factors conspires to trigger the oops phenomenon in drug addiction. So the widely held sentiment that drug addiction has to be explained from either the standpoint of biology or the standpoint of behavior, and never the twain shall meet, is terribly flawed. Biological and behavioral explanations of drug abuse must be given equal weight and integrated with each other if we are to gain an in-depth understanding of the root causes of drug addiction and then develop more effective treatments. Modern science has shown us that we reduce one explanation to the other — the behavioral to the biological, or vice versa – at our own peril. We have to recognize that brain disease stemming from drug use cannot and should not be artificially isolated from its behavioral components, as well as its larger social components. They all are critical pieces of the puzzle that interact with and impact on one another at every turn.

A wealth of scientific evidence, by the way, makes it clear that rarely if ever are any forms of brain disease only biological in nature. To the contrary, such brain diseases as stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, and clinical depression all have their behavioral and social dimensions. What is unique about the type of brain disease that results from drug abuse is that it starts out as voluntary behavior. But once continued use of an addictive drug brings about structural and functional changes in the brain that cause compulsive use, the disease-ravaged brain of a drug user closely resembles that of people with other kinds of brain diseases.

It’s also important to bear in mind that we now see addiction as a chronic, virtually life-long illness for many people. And relapse is a common phenomenon in all forms of chronic illness — from asthma and diabetes, to hypertension and addiction. The goals of successive treatments, as with other chronic illnesses, are to manage the illness and increase the intervals between relapses, until there are no more.

An increasing body of scientific evidence makes the compelling case that the most effective treatment programs for overcoming drug addiction incorporate an array of approaches — from medications, to behavior therapies, to social services and rehabilitation. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently published Principles of Effective Drug Addiction Treatment, which features many of the most promising drug treatment programs to date. As this booklet explains, the programs with the most successful track records treat the whole individual. Their treatment strategies place just as much emphasis on the unique social and behavioral aspects of drug addiction treatment and recovery as on the biological aspects. By doing so, they better enable those who have abused drugs to surmount the unexpected consequences of drug use and once again lead fruitful lives.


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.


Famous sayings

Eleanor RooseveltEleanor Roosevelt wrote:


Many people will walk in and out of your life, But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart

To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.

If someone betrays once, it is his fault; If he betrays you twice, it is your fault

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift

YES, I can!

You can, you can, you can!

Donna’s fourth grade classroom looked like many others I had seen in the past. The teacher’s desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. In most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day as I entered it for the first time.

My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage implementation of a training program that focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives. Donna was one of the volunteer teachers who participated in this project.

I took an empty seat in the back of the room and watched. All the students were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with thoughts and ideas. The ten-year-old student next to me was filling her page with “I Can’ts.” “I can’t kick the soccer ball past second base.” “I can’t do long division with more than three numerals.” “I can’t get Debbie to like me.” Her page was half full and she showed no signs of letting up. She worked on with determination and persistence. I walked down the row glancing at students’ papers.

Everyone was writing sentences, describing things they couldn’t do.

By this time the activity engaged my curiosity, so I decided to check with the teacher to see what was going on, but I noticed she too was busy writing. I felt it best not to interrupt. “I can’t get John’s mother to come for a teacher conference.” “I can’t get my daughter to put gas in the car.” “I can’t get Alan to use words instead of fists.”

Thwarted in my efforts to determine why students and teacher were dwelling on the negative instead of writing the more positive “I Can” statements, I returned to my seat and continued my observations. Students wrote for another ten minutes. They were then instructed to fold the papers in half and bring them to the front. They placed their “I Can’t” statements into an empty shoe box. Then Donna added hers. She put the lid on the box, tucked it under her arm and headed out the door and down the hall.

Students followed the teacher. I followed the students. Halfway down the hallway Donna entered the custodian’s room, rummaged around and came out with a shovel. Shovel in one hand, shoe box in the other, Donna marched the students out to the school to the farthest corner of the playground. There they began to dig. They were going to bury their “I Can’ts”! The digging took over ten minutes because most of the fourth graders wanted a turn. The box of “I Can’ts” was placed in a position at the bottom of the hole and then quickly covered with dirt.

Thirty-one 10- and 11-year-olds stood around the freshly dug grave site. At this point Donna announced, “Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads.” They quickly formed a circle around the grave, creating a bond with their hands. They lowered their heads and waited. Donna delivered the eulogy.

“Friends, we gathered here today to honor the memory of ‘I Can’t.’ While he was with us here on earth, he touched the lives or everyone, some more than others. We have provided ‘I Can’t’ with a final resting place and a headstone that contains his epitaph. His is survived by his brothers and sisters, ‘I Can’, ‘I Will’, and ‘I’m Going to Right Away’. They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps someday, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world. May ‘I Can’t’ rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen.”

As I listened I realized that these students would never forget this day. Writing “I Can’ts,” burying them and hearing the eulogy. That was a major effort on this part of the teacher. And she wasn’t done yet. She turned the students around, marched them back into the classroom and held awake. They celebrated the passing of “I Can’t” with cookies, popcorn and fruit juices. As part of the celebration, Donna cut a large tombstone from butcher paper. She wrote the words “I Can’t” at the top and put RIP in the middle. The date was added at the bottom.

The paper tombstone hung in Donna’s classroom for the remainder of the year. On those rare occasions when a student forgot and said, “I Can’t,” Donna simply pointed to the RIP sign. The student then remembered that “I Can’t” was dead and chose to rephrase the statement.

I wasn’t one of Donna’s students. She was one of mine. Yet that day I learned an enduring lesson from her as years later, I still envision that fourth grade class laying to rest, “I Can’t”.

Wisdom on resistance

“Pain exists only in resistance

 joy exists only in acceptance

 painful situations which you heartily accept

become joyful

 joyful situations which you do not accept

become painful

 there is no such thing as a bad experience

 bad experiences are simply creations of your resistance to what is”


 –          Rumi  

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 rbanks@livinginaction.com, or visited on the web.

Love & Valentines Day

by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

It was exciting news. My husband Mark’s son was getting married and Mark was asked to be the best man. He knew that, as is customary, he would be called upon to give a little talk. For months prior to the wedding, he thought about what special advice he could give to send the bride and groom on the pathway toward a wonderful life together.

The time finally came for him to deliver his talk, and the words that came out of his mouth were moving, funny and wise. But what created a very special moment for the entire room was when he gave the bride and groom the seven magical words that they were to say to each other daily. And these words were…

“Thank you for being in my life.”

Certainly all the guests at the wedding were very moved. At the end of Mark’s talk, as everyone stood and began toasting the bride and groom and each other, you could hear the words, “Thank you for being in my life” reverberating throughout the room, accompanied by a tangible sense of love and appreciation. Mark spoke from experience, because these are the words that continue to bring a feeling of blessing into our hearts as we, in our own marriage, repeat them daily.

For many of us, Valentine’s Day is a special day, but only a day, which focuses on our showering our mate with words of love. That’s beautiful, but I suggest that we need to make the sound of love a year-round habit. We need to create a “Valentine’s Year” during which time we learn to inject the sound of love into all of our interactions with each other. As I describe in The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love, there are so many ways to do that. But “Thank you for being in my life” is a good way to start.

Mark and I have learned that those two simple, but deeply important, words, “THANK YOU” represent a monumentally grand way to celebrate love. Yet, as we look around, we notice that they are words too seldom spoken in many relationships. Anger and resentment often get in the way…and the wonderful words “Thank you” are seldom uttered. Many would rather bite their tongue than utter any words of thanks. I can guarantee that this lack of appreciation of what our mate actually does for us signals the ultimate death of the relationship.

On the other hand, appreciation of what is good causes our anger to diminish and our love to grow. Think about it: The words “Thank you” mean we have been given something. By definition, the more we say “Thank you” the more we feel our abundance. And if we say these words often enough, we begin feeling incredibly blessed. We focus on what is there, not what isn’t. You can see that…by not repeatedly saying “Thank you” we are hurting ourselves just as much as we are hurting the one we claim to love! Consciousness of all the beauty that our mate brings into our lives is an important ingredient of a beautiful life.

Too many of us withhold our thanks for the simple reason that we fail to notice the many things our mate does for us. Wouldn’t it be great if a red light would go on every time our mate did something for us? Little things. Big things. A cup of coffee…a kiss on the cheek…helping to put money in the bank…raising the kids…and on and on and on. So much is taken for granted. Just think of all the so-called mundane tasks that your mate does in the course of everyday life–all expressions of his/her love and deserving of your thanks. “But, Susan, that’s his/her job.” Then, how about, “Thank you for a job well done.” I suspect that as you begin saying “Thank you” to your mate for doing his/her “job”, it will melt his/her heart–and yours.

Trust me when I tell you that a beautiful love can’t exist when we take the blessings of our union for granted. So begin right now by appreciating all that your mate does in your life. Don’t let another day pass before you say, “Thank you for being in my life.” And do as Mark and I always do, add the words, “I love you.” As we shower our appreciation and love onto our mates, we become happier, healthier…and our relationship thrives.

And remember, if you are not in a relationship…begin saying “Thank you” to the world around you. Just practice… practice… practice…until your words of thanks have become a beautiful habit. You will begin drawing love toward you from all over the place. The Law of Attraction in action!


 From my heart to yours,
 Susan Jeffers

© 2008 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.