South Africa’s Alcohol Ban And What It Means for Alcoholics

South Africa’s Alcohol Ban And What It Means for Alcoholics

The reinstatement of the alcohol sales ban in South Africa came as quite the shock to many, when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced it on the evening of the 12th of July.

The reason for the reinstatement of the ban was because of the rampant increase of alcohol-related injuries nationwide, putting a strain on hospitals that are already reaching full capacities because of COVID-19 positive patients. The strain on medical staff and health care workers increased dramatically when the alcohol ban was lifted in late June.

There are many knock-on effects of this ban. It has impacted bottle stores, the entertainment industry and the South African economy in general, as well as those that consume alcohol, whether they be alcoholics or not.

What The Sudden Alcohol Ban Means For Alcoholics, Binge Drinkers And Casual Drinkers

While, at first glance, the banning of alcohol may seem like a good thing for alcoholics and a way for them to finally ‘get clean’, a sudden ban on alcohol may have genuinely damaging effects.

We need to keep in mind that alcohol is a very addictive substance, and if an alcoholic suddenly doesn’t have access to alcohol they are going to experience some very challenging withdrawal symptoms that they may simply not be ready to cope with.

This is the reason that alcohol abuse rehabilitation centers exist at all; if giving up alcohol was an easy process, these would be no need for these centres. Each person experiences withdrawals in different ways, but each alcoholic deserves safe and proper treatment when giving up alcohol, especially if they have been dependent on the substance for many years.

President Cyril Ramaphosa encouraged the nation to ‘go into recovery’ with regards to alcohol consumption. But it isn’t as simple as that, and this sudden ban has left many people at risk.

Not every alcoholic will have the funds needed or the opportunity to get professional help from an alcohol abuse treatment centre. These people may be in very vulnerable situations due to the unstable economy and may not want to risk taking time away from work in fear of losing their job.

Some withdrawal symptoms can be truly nasty, even fatal. Certain people with alcohol addiction may become very aggressive when met with withdrawal symptoms, and this may put their family at risk.

Drinkers, including alcoholics, binge drinkers and even casual drinkers, may turn to buy alcohol illegally and on the black market, putting themselves in dangerous situations. Alternatively, drinkers may turn to brew their own alcohol in their kitchens, which may also turn out to be hazardous.

Are You Or A Loved One Experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Because alcohol is so addictive, your body can become somewhat dependent on it, and the withdrawal symptoms from a sudden cease in alcohol consumption can be very intense.

Symptoms vary from person to person and depend significantly on the level of dependency. Many people are quite oblivious to how dependent they are on alcohol, and the ban on alcohol sales has caused many people to realise that they may have some dependency on alcohol.

Sudden alcohol withdrawal symptoms may look like:

6–12 hours after your last drink

  • Unease
  • Headaches
  • Queasiness
  • Vomiting
  • Trembling
  • Extreme irritation

12-24 hours  after your last drink

  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Shaking Hands

48 hours after your last drink

  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • High temperature
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations

While symptoms should subside after the first week, certain people may experience long-lasting symptoms which may be difficult to manage.

Get Help From An Alcohol Abuse Rehabilitation Centre

If you’re a social drinker you may find yourself with withdrawal symptoms that you were not expecting, and if you have a problem with an alcohol addiction, you may find yourself in a very troubling situation indeed.

Here at Hope Again Recovery Centre, our team is skilled in helping recovering alcoholics deal with their symptoms in an effective way, as well as deal with any underlying issues that will help them stay sober.

If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, feel free to contact our professional team at Hope Again Recovery Centre. We can discuss your situation with you, and how we can help. Our team is friendly and understanding. Contact us on: +27 66 307 4952

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