Drug Addiction

Drug addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is defined by the recurring use of legal or illegal substances despite the harm that it may cause the user or their loved ones. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug, which makes it extremely difficult for people to quit, even if they realise that they have a problem.

Many people often mistakenly assume that drug abusers lack willpower or moral principles, believing that they can easily choose to stop by simply changing their behaviour. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease that leads to changes in the structure and functioning of the brain, which affects a person’s impulse control and ability to make sound decisions.

What are the signs and symptoms of drug addiction?

Substance use and abuse can quickly develop into drug dependence, which is why it is so vitally important to recognise the signs and symptoms of drug abuse as early as possible.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) split the warning signs into three major categories, physical and health, behavioural and psychological.

If you are worried that a loved one might be abusing drugs, here are the major warning signs to look for:

Physical and health warning signs

  • Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
  • Frequent nosebleeds which could be related to inhaling drugs such as KAT, crystal meth or cocaine.
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.  Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Seizures without a history of epilepsy.
  • Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance.
  • Injuries or accidents and the person won’t or can’t tell you how they got hurt.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body or clothing.
  • Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.

Behavioural warning signs

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school, loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise and decreased motivation.
  • Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
  • Unusual or unexplained need for money, financial problems, borrowing or stealing and the unexplained missing of money or valuables.
  • Silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviours.
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favourite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).

Psychological warning signs

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
  • Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
  • Lack of motivation, inability to focus, appearing lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appearing fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.

Treatments offered at Riverview Manor

The primary goals of addiction treatment are total abstinence of the substance, rehabilitation and relapse prevention.

The first phase is withdrawal management, also known as detoxification, which enables clients to stop using the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible.

Our adapted 12-step program is offered as a tool to help clients understand why some problems develop; explore the impact that it has on their lives, and to assist in their recovery.

We offer individual, as well as group therapy sessions and activities that focus on equipping our clients with life skills that are vital to a sustained recovery.

Activities include:

  • Life Skills
  • Crafts
  • Medical Lectures
  • Reflection
  • Relaxation
  • Lifestyle Management
  • Psycho Education
  • Spirituality Recreation
  • Physical Activities

How to enrol in the programme

If you wish to contact Riverview Manor regarding an inquiry or wish to enrol in our programme you can contact us on 033 710 1911, or you can fill in your details here so that our team can contact you.


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Riverview Manor Specialist Clinic
Riverview Manor Specialist Clinic
Although Riverview Manor does not run a strictly Halaal kitchen - we do make every effort to cater for our Muslim clients. Our staff are well trained and informed about islamic foods. We accept pre-cooked frozen meals from the Client’s family, stored and we reheat it separately.
033 701 1911
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Supported by the Vernon Goss Family Trust