Drug Abuse Treatment in South Africa Services

Illegal Substances Or Illegal Hard Drugs

Illegal, so-called hard drugs are synthetic or natural substances that are addictive and extremely detrimental to many aspects of human wellbeing and are therefore forbidden by law.

They are not allowed to be produced, distributed, used, or held in your possession in any way, unless you have official governmental or judicial authorisation to use it for medical or scientific purposes.


Illegal drugs can be classified in different ways; for example according to:

  1. The source of the substance: Synthetic product, or chemically enhanced plant.
  2. What it is used for: Recreation, or relief from emotional or physical distress.
  3. The temporary effect it produces: Stimulant, depressant or hallucinogen.
  4. The potential for dependency and addiction: Medium, high or very high.
  5. The risk level for the health and safety of the user: Medium, high or fatal.

The most common method of classifying illegal drugs is to group them as either stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens, depending on the way they affect the central nervous system (CNS):

Stimulants: Drugs that speed up the activity of the CNS and elevates your mood, energy, focus and alertness. They mask exhaustion and keep you awake and over-active for an extended period of time.

Depressants (relaxants): Drugs that slow down the activity of the CNS and calm down the user. They have sedative or tranquilising effects that suppress anxiety, reduce insomnia, and alleviate seizures.

Hallucinogens (psychedelics): These drugs can cause you to see, hear or feel things that do not exist, or to perceive imagined things as reality. They can also make you more sensitive to light and sound.

Despite their apparently pleasant effects, all illegal drugs come with severe negative risks, such as intoxication and addiction, and subsequent physical, mental, social, environmental, financial, legal and relationship harm that significantly outweigh their perceived short-term benefits.

Popular Drugs and their Classifications

Examples of some popular drugs and their classifications include:

Note: Cannabis is currently being legalised in some areas where they were previously illegal, but there is controversy about the wisdom of this development, due to the risks associated with it.

Prevalence of Illegal Drugs

Powerful, ruthless, sophisticated and immensely wealthy illegal drug cartels and syndicates have spread their tentacles all over the world. They use advanced technology, bribery, threats, blackmail and murder to advance their interests and to penetrate any potential market in the world.

Despite ongoing campaigns by governments and private entities to combat and spread awareness about illegal drugs, the illegal trade is flourishing, spurred on by greed and extreme profits. When a kingpin or gang is eliminated, there are always new ones eager to replace them.

Why People Use Illegal Drugs

People use drugs for various reasons, including:


Due to the high incidence of substance use disorder, the health industry is intensely active in the fields of research and development and have effective treatment modules in place to help people to recover from these disorders.

Also See

Drug Abuse Treatment in South Africa Services

Online Addiction Counselling and Outpatient Programme

In the convenience of your home or office, Recovery Direct provides virtual addiction treatment online. Participants in the online outpatient programme receive the same high-quality care by utilising the same essential, evidence-based curriculum for which Gateway is renowned. Given the current climate, many people prefer to stay at home instead of attending a programme despite still needing addiction recovery services.

Recovery Direct is South Africa's leading addiction programme for the treatment of drug abuse and addiction. This private alcohol & drug rehabilitation online programme provides a multifaceted approach comprising both individual and group therapy across many formats.
Sunrise had its beginnings in 2015 under the guidance of Vaughan Pankhurst, a renowned addiction treatment specialist. With over 20 years of experience, Sunrise has developed a full spectrum of affordable, quality treatment services.