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Substance Use and Drugs

Types of Drugs



Alcohol is the most commonly abused recreational substance. It can lower inhibitions, cause poor judgement and therefore also increase your risk of engaging in irresponsible sex.  Studies have found that drinking alcohol before engaging in sex significantly increases the likelihood of engaging in riskier sex.‬‬‬‬‬

‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Long-term alcohol abuse contributes to erectile dysfunction and liver damage. Liver damage is an especially serious concern should someone need to start taking ARVs (treatment for HIV). Liver damage can decrease your ability to tolerate ARVs.‬

‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Uppers – Stimulants‬


Uppers are drugs that stimulate the brain. They induce a sense of temporary well-being and confidence. After this sensation, there is usually a period of feeling down, or depressed. This can make people want to use more stimulants in order to feel better. This process can cause addiction very quickly.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬  Uppers include the following:‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • MDMA and Ecstasy: Also called E, Love Drug, XTC, X ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • Cocaine: Also called coke, chanel‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • Khat: Also called mairungi, miraa, gomba, cat, kitty ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • Crystal Methamphetamine: Also called tik, tina, crystal, meths, krank, tweak, ice, X-tina, sugar, glass ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Downers – Depressants


Downers decrease mental or physical functioning and have a relaxing effect. After using these substances individuals may feel very anxious or agitated and want to use them repeatedly. This can easily lead to dependence and addiction.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Downers include the following: ‬‬‬‬‬

  • Heroin: Also called smack, skag, brown, H, brown sugar, white junk. ‬
  • Marijuana: Also called dagga, cannabis, weed, blunt, grass, herb, boom, joint, spliff, ganja, hash, skunk, pot ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • Mandrax: Also called buttons, smarties, double barrels, happy pills, mandies, mandrake or mandrix ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • GHB: Also called Liquid E or G‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is the most commonly used downer‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Recreational drugs can cause serious damage when they impair the normal functioning of the body, increasing one’s risk of heart and liver disease, neurological disorders and sexual dysfunction. When taken in an overdose they can also kill you.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬