Alcohol and drug abuse

 

South African Schools Act No.84 of 1996 – Chapter 2:

  • 8A. Random search and seizure and drug testing at schools.—(1) Unless authorised by the principal for legitimate educational purposes, no person may bring a dangerous object or illegal drug onto school premises or have such object or drug in his or her possession on school premises or during any school activity.
  • (2) Subject to subsection (3), the principal or his or her delegate may, at random, search any group of learners, or the property of a group of learners, for any dangerous object or illegal drug, if a fair and reasonable suspicion has been established— …

AIM:

 

This policy is aimed at:

 

  • the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse
  • the eradication of drug and alcohol abuse in our school community

 

CAUSES OF THE USE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

 

The phenomenon is due to a number of factors, e.g.

 

  • poor self-image
  • poor socio-economic circumstances both at home and in the community
  • peer pressure and conformity
  • unrealistic performance expectations

 

TYPES OF DRUGS

 

Drugs can be divided into two main groups:

 

suppressors:

  • alcohol,
  • opium,
  • morphine,
  • barbiturates,
  • pethidine,
  • sedatives, etc.

 

stimulants

  • cocaine,
  • mandrax, LSD,
  • amphetamine (tik),
  • dagga, marijuana
  • tobacco
  • inhalants, such as glue, benzine, petrol and paint thinners.

 

ABUSE OF DRUGS

 

Abuse:

 

  • Abuse of any substance occurs when it is used for a purpose other than it should be used for primarily.
  • It is also abused when it is used in excess.

 

 

Addiction:

 

  • Addiction of a substance occurs when a person experiences an uncontrollable craving for it in order to experience the euphoria.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF DRUG ABUSE

 

The excessive use of alcohol and drugs leads to:

 

  • family disintegration
  • poor school performance
  • false sense of control and security (euphoria)
  • mood shifts
  • poor school attendance
  • poor health
  • theft
  • violence
  • death
  • prostitution
  • HIV/AIDS

 

HANDLING ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE

 

In the handling of the individual who abuses drugs and alcohol it is very important that educators be aware that the addict uses especially two protection mechanisms when confronted with the reality of addiction:

 

denial: the person who is addicted will never admit that there is a problem

projection: the addict has done nothing wrong and places the burden of guilt on someone else

 

Educators should furthermore be aware in the handling of the person who abuses alcohol and drugs that the handling of such a person is not systemic in nature.  The reason is that such a person should be guided systematically to a point of acceptance that there is a problem.  The process the addict goes through is as follows:

 

denial (I do not have a problem.)

anger (angry with everybody, educators, parents, etc.)

negotiation (Can you keep this between us, sir?)

depression (quiet and withdrawn at school and at home. Does not talk to anyone.)

acceptance (Can you help me, sir?)

 

This problem should be treated as follows:

 

PREVENTION:

 

Greater awareness of drug and alcohol abuse and the consequences thereof by means of school campaigns, etc.

Development of educational programmes

Closer synchronism with the learning area or curriculum, interested organizations, both government and non-government organizations

 

REHABILITATION:

 

Learners who use and abuse drugs should be treated with the necessary empathy and sympathy.

Counselling to help with the prevention of the problem should be provided within school context, e.g. educational support services.

Other professional help.

 

In this process the rights of the learner as determined by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa should be taken into account.

 

SANCTIONS:

 

Disciplinary steps as contained in the Disciplinary Code of the school are applicable to those who use, abuse, sell or are under the influence of drugs on the school grounds. 

These steps are applicable even during school excursions and trips and any school event.

Steps should be in line with the school’s code of conduct for learners.