Substance Abuse & Smoking
Having a beer or drink with some friends once in awhile is a common way to relax and should cause you no concern. However the abuse of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous game that should be avoided.
ALCOHOL ABUSE & ALCOHOLISM
If you or a friend are using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol to an extent that it is causing harm to their life and those around them, this might be substance abuse.
THE EFFECTS OF SMOKING
Even though smokers often appear to be cool, that picture of coolness is nothing but smoke! (Yes, pun fully intended) That picture is not real. In fact, smoking causes many chronic, sometimes, terminal diseases such as lung cancer and many other forms of cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia.
Generally, smokers are less healthy than non-smokers. Smoking affects the immune system negatively, thereby increasing a smoker’s risk for infections. Smoking also increases the risk for fractures, dental diseases, sexual problems, eye diseases and peptic ulcers.
Adolescent girls who smoke will have a difficult time getting pregnant compared to their peers who don’t. Smoking adolescent girls also run a higher risk of not becoming pregnant at all in their lifetime. Smoking is also a major cause of Ectopic Pregnancy; that is a case whereby fertilized eggs do not move to the womb but instead stays put inside the fallopian tube or sticks itself to other organs outside the womb. It is a potentially life threatening situation.
Smoking can also affect the foetus (the growing baby in the womb) badly and can cause pregnancy complications.
ADVICE & HELP TO AVOID SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Here are some tips on how to avoid abusing cigarettes, drugs or alcohol:
- Do not allow yourself to be pressured into taking tobacco, alcohol, or other addictive substances by friends and peers.
- If you are offered addictive substances, resist! Then share your concerns with a trusted adult.
- If you have been taking drugs or addictive substances and you want to stop, seek help from clinics, religious organisations and NGOs.
- If you are not ready to quit taking alcohol and other addictive substances, ensure you do not keep away from people or try to hide it, that way, you can avoid overdose.