Methamphetamine or more commonly known in South Africa as “Tik” has caused Cape Town to have one of the worst drug problems in the world. Every single aspect of this drug is completely devastating, from its short-term to long-term effects and from its physical and mental effects on the body. This particular addiction can cost many people their lives, and not just those people who are actually consuming the drug. Tik addicts have been known to be very prone to violence, in the case of the informal settlements and poorer areas of Cape Town people have been killed by Tik addicts for little more than their cell phone.
The most concerning issue about Tik is that it is being abused by children. Kids as young as twelve are using the drug and becoming addicted. Young girls are using the drug as an attempt to manage weight problems.
Some of the more undesirable effects of Tik in the short-term are ones such as: rapid breathing, hyperthermia, increased heart rate and blood pressure, irregular heartbeat prolonged insomnia, tremors and of course a strong sense of aggression. Children who are using Tik are causing severe damage to their body and because they are not yet fully developed they are unable to control the aggression brought on by the drug. As you could imagine, Tik is causing a more hostile environment for many of the youths living in areas that are heavily affected by the drug.
Tik is an ideal drug to prepare someone to commit acts of violence, such as getting a gunman ready to make a hit. Tik helps to remove their inhibitions and reservations to commit crimes and to hurt people. In an already violent area Tik is increasing the incidents theft and violent crime, making the areas it is heavily affected by, some of the most dangerous in the world.
One of the more frightening facts about Tik is that it will eventually destroy the addicts brain. When addicts use Tik repeatedly, the drug actually changes their brains chemistry, destroying the wiring in the brain's pleasure centers and making it more and more, impossible to experience pleasure. Even Heroin and Cocaine don’t even come close to the terrible effects that are being caused by Tik.
The Harmony Group is a registered non-profit organisation, the Harmony Foundation, whose sole aim is to bring the highest standards of treatment for addictions and other compulsive behaviours to South Africa.