NOT EVEN ONCE!
The Addiction Action Campaign is a registered non-profit organization that exists for the benefit of all South Africans regardless of race, religion, culture or creed. The epidemic of addiction in our country is massive. Far greater than most people are aware of. One normally thinks of addiction in terms of illegal drugs and alcohol, but millions of South Africans are addicted to a vast range of addictions such as illegal substances, legal substances as well as behaviours.
The A.A.C. exists to reduce the harm caused by the existence and sale of addictive products or services whether they are legal or illegal. One must therefore focus on the demand and on Harm Reduction. See the AAC Addiction Harm Reduction Compliancy Initiative
The demand for addictive substances etc. will never end unless people are properly educated from at least the age of seven (7) years old. However, suppliers must be held financially accountable for the rehabilitation costs of people wishing to receive treatment as industries are responsible to a certain degree.
We have a clear vision and mission for South Africa and we believe that it is possible to greatly reduce the effects of substance abuse and addiction on society.
1) South Africa has become dependent to income generated from the sale of addictive products or services. Government must ensure that S.A. becomes independent of its dependency to sin taxes and other taxes earned from addiction.
2) South Africa's dependency to income derived from addictive products and or services, actually ENABLES ADDICTION. All this income should be used exclusively for the purposes of addiction & substance abuse treatment and prevention.
3) Industries that sell addictive products or services are responsible for the treatment costs of people who are addicted to their products etc. Namely cigarette, alcohol, casinos, pornographers and pharmaceutical companies etc.. If an industry profits from a dependency, i.e. if people cannot control their intake of a product or service because they are addicted to it, then the level spending on harm reduction must match the level of profit made from that dependency.
4) The country's consciousness concerning the severity of addiction in S.A. needs to change. Government must become actively involved in educating South Africans about the dangers of using ANY substance, product or service which is addictive.
5) More people in S.A. are addicted to a substance, product, service or behaviour than there are people living with HIV/AIDS. Government must publicly admit this fact and present a plan of action to the South African people on how they will strive towards a society free of addiction.
6) The most dangerous addictive services and products are all legal. If alcohol or cigarettes were invented today, they would be illegal because they are so dangerous. Government must do everything in its power to reduce the harm that these products cause to South Africans.
7) South Africa’s law makers and industry professionals must accept Harm Reduction philosophies and implement strategies which ensure that if harm is being caused, then there must be accountability and programs in place to reduce such harm.
8) Every South African has a basic human right to proper health care. We believe that every South African has a right to high quality addiction treatment which is affordable. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 95% of people needing addiction treatment do not have access to treatment because it is unaffordable and only available in English and Afrikaans.
9) Addiction is a neglected issue. Addiction & substance abuse kills more people in S.A. annually than HIV/AIDS does. Yet, no provisions are made for the issue through current Corporate Social Resposibility funding programs or from international philanthropic foundations.
10) The last study on the effects of addiction on society was completed in 1996. This study was incomplete as it only measured certain substances and neglected addictive behaviours. The effect and extent of addiction & substance abuse in South Africa needs to be officially measured if we are to effectively deal with the issue as whole.
Are there really so many addictions? It seems addiction is a massive problem in South Africa. But are these actually addictions, or are they behavioural disorders? See What is Addiction for more insight on this issue or contact us with your questions.