Drug Abuse Treatment in South Africa Services

Treating Legal High Drug Addictions

Some of the addictive legal highs are even more dangerous than the worst form of the illegal street drugs that we know about.

Previously Legal Drugs Now Banned

So-called “former legal highs”, are recreational drugs which were previously legally sold, without need for medical prescriptions, by specialist shops, but because they contained ingredients that produced similar effects as illicit drugs like cocaine and meths, they were later banned in most countries due to their harmful properties.

Some of these drugs actually contained illegal drugs, but the chemicals were slightly modified so they could bypass the official definition of known illegal drugs. Others were synthetic chemicals or natural plant products that mimicked the effects of illegal drugs. They were sold openly, usually under obscure brand names or as products with misleading descriptions, such as bath salts or plant food, to further disguise their intended use.

Illegal vendors are now the main source of supply for these drugs. However, shady online and street shops are still selling similar drugs, also known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), as new formulations are continuously being developed in ongoing efforts to evade law enforcement.

Drug Classification

Based on the psychoactive effects of so-called “former legal high” drugs, they can be classified in three categories:

  1. Stimulants: Drugs that stimulate the central nervous system to temporarily provide mental alertness, physical energy and stamina, and to suppress fatigue and the need for sleep.
  2. Hallucinogens: Drugs that cause users to see, hear and feel imaginary things that do not exist and to falsely perceive it as reality.
  3. Synthetic cannabinoids: So-called “herbal blends” contaminated with harmful chemicals which mimic the properties and effects of cannabis.

Each of these drug classes have addictive or detrimental consequences for persistent users.

Examples of Former Legal Highs

There are numerous examples of these drugs. The following list contains just a few of the pseudonyms used, in order to illustrate their general functioning:


Due to the immense diversity of these drugs and the general lack of knowledge among average people about many of the obscure elements they contain, specialised medical analysis and detoxification is required. This should be followed by personalised psychological treatment in a rehabilitation facility to identify and heal the underlying emotional stimulant that originally compelled the patient to use drugs.

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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.

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