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.
The demand for addictive substances etc. will never end unless people are properly educated from at least the age of 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 CSR funding programs or from international philanthropic foundations.
- 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.
Source : TalkingAlcohol.com
What is ‘moderate drinking’?
The Addiction Action Campaign congratulates SAB Miller for providing this information to South Africans. “However, this information should be household knowledge. What we’d like to see is their adverts showing responsible use that doesn’t encourage people to have one more”, said Warren Whitfield AAC founder and C.E.O.
SAB Miller have shown a commitment to reducing the harm that alcohol causes to South Africans and are currently considering making funding available for addiction treatment. “This will be a first for South Africa if they do decide to fund treatment and we hope that this will encourage other companies in similar industries to do the same”, he said.
There is no single definition of ‘moderate drinking’. Some say it’s drinking that doesn’t cause problems for the drinker or for society. Others suggest it’s about drinking within the range that maximises the known benefits of alcohol consumption without substantially increasing the risks.
One way of thinking about it is to look at some of the general guidelines available and consider how they fit your circumstances.
That’s because people don’t react to alcohol in the same way. How we define ‘one drink’ can differ too. And, finally, customs and cultures are different – what’s considered moderate drinking in one country might not be in another.
Many governments produce official drinking guidelines, but these guidelines often vary between countries. Here’s how some governments define moderate alcohol consumption:
- US: Two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women – the guidelines state that drinking at these levels may even provide some protection against heart disease. Twelve fluid ounces of beer counts as one drink
- South Africa: No more than one drink (12 grams of alcohol) per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men
- UK: An upper limit of 32 grams of alcohol per day for men and 24 grams of alcohol per day for women
- Australia: No more than two standard drinks (10 grams of alcohol per standard drink) per day for both men and women.
“If you exceed the RDA of alcohol consumption, you’re misusing alcohol”, said Whitfield who believe that the majority of the income generated by alcohol companies comes from misuse. “The reality is that once you’ve had more than one drink, you’re brain chemistry is altered to such a degree that you are more likely to ignore the RDA and misuse alcohol”, he said.
Pigs Peak casino was granted leave to appeal today. This means that the Swaziland based company will be opening their portals shortly to begin trading again in South Africa while they prepare to challenge the recent High Court decision against them.
Warren Whitfield who is the Addiction Action Campaign (AAC) founder and C.E.O. said, “We’ve called them Pigs because we are aware that since Pigs Peak casino has begun trading in South Africa, they have not paid taxes for any of the billions of Rand’s that they have taken from South Africans, nor have they given one cent to gambling addiction treatment or prevention organisations such as AAC. They are operating under grey areas of the law, have milked South Africa of wealth and caused much harm to problem gamblers without giving anything back.”
Whitfield said, “This decision will ultimately lead to these grey areas being tightened and hopefully will expose online casinos for the opportunistic ruthless capitalists that they are”. Ends
For more information contact: AAC CEO Warren Whitfield – 076-387-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org?
Why gambling and alcohol do not mix:
A call for the review of the regulation of the supply of alcohol to people while gambling.
Effect of Alcohol on motor skills and judgment/perception
- Even small doses of alcohol may cause longer eye fixation time, tunnel vision and defective attention switching.
- The response time of both eye movement and accommodation may be lengthened and there is a significant reduction in tolerance to glare from light.
i.e. Because of these effects, the high speed decision making requirement in the environment of a casino (for instance), would put someone under the influence of alcohol at a disadvantage.
Any desire that we have no control over.
Besides substances, addictive behaviour can be found in many other instances that affect quality of life, identity and relationships. Continue reading “What is addiction?” »
The Addiction Harm Reduction Compliancy (AHRC) initiative was started by The Addiction Action Campaign. See also www.ahrc.org.za
Companies or industries who display this logo have met and continue to meet The AAC Addiction Harm Reduction Compliancy requirements and are evaluated on a bi-annual basis.
AHRC approved individuals are committed to reducing the harm that their products or services cause to South Africa. They regularly measure and identify if any harm is caused by the sale and consumption of their products and services and spend the equivalent on reducing harm through responsible addiction prevention and treatment spending.
Harm Reduction is a set of practical strategies that reduce negative consequences of substance misuse and addictive behaviours and incorporates a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use to abstinence. Harm Reduction strategies meet people “where they’re at,” addressing conditions of use along with the use itself. Because Harm Reduction demands that interventions and policies designed to serve this sector of individuals reflect specific individual and community needs, there is no universal definition of or formula for implementing Harm Reduction. Continue reading “What does Harm Reduction mean?” »