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'In South Africa we have almost adopted alcohol as a family member'

7 April 2020 10:33 AM
Tags:
Alcohol
Alcohol abuse
coronavirus covid-19.
21 day lockdown SA

As people run out of alcohol during lockdown, it may highlight issue of alcohol use dependence, explains recovery director.

It is Day 12 of the 21-day lockdown in South Africa where buying alcohol during this period is prohibited.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Doug Kemp, programme director of Cape Town-based rehab centre Recovery Direct, about the impact the prohibition of alcohol sales will have on some alcohol dependants.

There's a lot of things that people could be experiencing right now. It just depends on whether they are actually in states of withdrawal or not.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

Certainly, alcohol use disorder is quite prevalent in our society and a lot of people will be going into 'seeking' behaviour.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

He explains 'seeking' behaviour.

People who have become reliant on alcohol have almost a 'relationship' to it. And when alcohol is removed from their day to day life, they start seeking that relationship that fulfills a certain function in their emotional state, to be restored.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

That 'seeking' behaviour is almost looking for another relationship to fulfill that emotional state, he explains.

South Africa is a country that has gone through a lot of past trauma and trauma is the crux of what one deals with when dealing with a substance use issue.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

He says when alcohol is actually removed, it raises many questions for people about how dependent they may really be on the substance.

Questions like how dependent am I on this and for what reason did I used more alcohol than I thought I would use? These are really the borderline questions that one starts to ask as to whether one has an alcohol use is or not.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

As people run out of alcohol during this period, it may highlight this issue for them, he explains.

A lot of those questions are coming up at the moment.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

In South Africa, we have almost adopted alcohol as a family member. It is so ingrained in our culture. Many generations have adopted this 'family member'.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

People are using alcohol to self-soothe in many ways, sef-sooting from an emotional disparity that is likely stress-related. And we have a society with so much stress.

Doug Kemp, Programme director - Recovery Direct

For more info and help go toRecoveryDirect

Listen to the interview below:


7 April 2020 10:33 AM
Tags:
Alcohol
Alcohol abuse
coronavirus covid-19.
21 day lockdown SA

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