Tik Addiction in South Africa
Bethesda Addictions Treatment Centre has transformed into Bethesda Retreat offering residential sobriety. Based in Plettenberg Bay, we offer individualized, personal, and professional treatment and counseling for specific types of addictions and their varying effects. One particular addiction that we are repeatedly seeing success with is the growing problem of the Tik Drug.
The Tik Drug (crystal meth) has become a buzzword in drug circles and has become increasingly popular amongst school children and the gang culture because of the ease with which street pharmacists make the drug, which causes a high rate Tik Addiction.
Tik addiction in South Africa
Crystal meth is typically sold in ‘straws’ and would cost between R15 and R30. Tik the drug can be found in many forms, from a fine powder to larger crystals. It can be snorted, orally ingested, injected or smoked – smoking being the most common method in South Africa.
On the street, Tik the drug has many names, including “tuk-tuk”, crystal, straws and globes. The powder or crystal is placed in a light bulb after the metal threading has been removed. A lighter is used to heat the bulb and the user smokes the fumes. Some users call the drug “tuk-tuk” because of the clicking sound it makes when smoked. Stolen light bulbs from cars are a sure sign of Tik the drug being smoked in that area.
What ingredients are in tik?
Tik the drug is commonly sold as a combination of:
- Talcum Powder
- Baking Powder
- Battery Acid
- Drain Cleaner
- Large amounts of cold and flu medication
These additives can be very poisonous.
Because the user never knows exactly what he is using, even an experienced user can accidentally overdose.
For obvious reasons, early intervention will give an addict the best chance of recovering from tik addiction. Is someone you know in trouble?
These are the typical symptoms of a Tik addict:
- Loss of appetite, weight loss.
- Loss of personal hygiene standards.
- Increase in irritability and a short-temper.
- Unnecessary aggressive attitudes and behaviors.
- Dilated pupils.
- Rapid speech.
- High anxiety.
- Psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, delusions, aggressive itching of specific areas of the body)
- Constant headaches.
- An overly friendly manner with a false confidence.
- Changes in dress, friends and slang.
- Drug paraphernalia: light bulbs, glass straws.
- Regular visits to the doctors due to contraction of sexually transmittable diseases.
The Effects of Tik
The cravings involved with tik addiction and the strength of the desires for tik the drug lasts long after having stopped using it, even months later a recovering addict could still have intense craving for the drug; this is the effects of Tik.
The brain is triggered into wanting the drug, often through association with events, people or things that remind the person of their using.
This could be anything from music, lighters, public toilets, clothing or TV shows that remind the person of their using, to people or food they use to eat when using.Anything could trigger a using memory.
It could be so intense that it could be called a feeling memory, causing recall of euphoria. The journey of recovery depends on the necessary tools to overcome moments of desire and want. Recovery techniques could help the person to intervene the process of having a thought or feeling to acting on it, and every small victory helps to grow the self again that has been so beaten by the addiction.
Recovery from the effects of Tik is not only possible, but it could also give life like the person could never have imagined, and it can leave a peace that is beyond comprehension.
Because we really understand how and when a Tik addict stops using they are left with an existential vacuum which could better be described as a black-hole, our experiences. Clearly seen by every one of our clients, gives us permission to stand in that void and guide dying addicts towards a new normal.