Family members can’t control a loved one’s addiction


SANCA Vaal Triangle is an outpatient rehab centre treating addiction in the Vaal Triangle (a registered NPO). Everyday, we bear witness to the fact that addiction affects not just the addict but also their loved ones. In a way to help, loved ones often inadvertently enable the addiction to continue. You see, one of the truths about addiction is that no person drinks or uses drugs in a vacuum.

Relatives easily find themselves very anxious over a family member’s substance use, and their sincere efforts to arrest the problem may only deepen it. Judy’s (fictional name) story offers an example. “We’d been married for about 20 years, and he drank just about the entire time,” she said, speaking of her former husband. “You start to think: Is it really my fault? Maybe I should be spending more time with him. Maybe if I kept the house cleaner or spent less time with the kids, things would change.” Judy’s attempts to control her husband’s drinking included hiding his liquor. Then it occurred to her that he might be using the same strategy to hide any evidence of alcoholism. “It got to the point where I’d see some liquor in the house and ask ‘Is this what I’m hiding, or is this what he’s hiding?'” Underlying most of Judy’s efforts were two ideas: that she was somehow at fault for her husband’s drinking, and that by behaving differently she could control his problem. However, Judy turned her reasoning around. This is the step that calls on alcoholics and drug addicts to admit that life has become unmanageable, that they are powerlessness over the substance.

“Then it hit me,” she recalled. “I finally realised what that was all about. I saw that I don’t have to worry. I don’t have a problem with alcohol. And I have no control over my husband’s use of alcohol. It simply was not my fault.” Judy saw that her behavior actually enabled her husband’s addiction to continue. The terms “enabling” and “adapting” has become a popular term over the years – not to blame loved ones but to reverse guilty feelings and well intentioned actions – none of which actually helps an addicted loved one recover. Basically, adapting means that families make it comfortable for an addicted person to use. And the family’s intention is not to do this at all. Most often, adapting is just a last-ditch effort. They simply don’t know what else to do. Examples of adapting are as varied as families themselves. In many families, the focus of attention narrows itself to the addicted person. Instead of family members focusing on being the best they can be, they focus on blaming the addicted person. They’re so focused this person that they can lose sight of themselves. An alternative to adapting is detachment with love. This means responding to our own needs while being caring and considerate of another’s needs. It means that we can be responsible to them, but not for them. And as a result, we no longer shield people from the consequences of their behavior. Most family members of an addicted person tried for a long time to change that person  and it didn’t work. The fact is that we are involved with other people, but we don’t control them. We can’t prohibit them from doing some things.” How does Judy translate this into daily living? “A lot of it has to do with the Serenity Prayer, which reminds us to change the things we can and accept the rest. In other words, what do we actually have control over, and what don’t we? That’s something I’m still working on. But when you don’t have that responsibility to control another person, it takes a lot of weight off your shoulders.” Acknowledgement the Hazelden Organisation for Judy’s specific example.

Celebrities who beat their severe addictions.

12 Celebrities Who Used Heroin But Beat It ( And some used other substances too)

Heroin has recently been called an epidemic and a plague in our country (USA). The number of deaths from heroin use has escalated dramatically nationwide. It is a serious problem with life threatening consequences.

For a change of pace, we want to highlight that many people who have used or been addicted to heroin now live happy, successful lives. So here are 12 famous people who once used or were addicted to heroin, but are living free of heroin today:
Robert Downey, Jr.

1. Robert Downey Jr. Between 1996 and 2001, Robert Downey Jr. was arrested numerous times on drug-related charges
 including heroin possession. “I accidentally [got] involved in heroin after smoking crack for the first time. It finally tied my shoelaces together,” Downey Jr. told Rolling Stone in 2010. “Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenseless.” Today he enjoys sober success, in 2013 he was named Forbes top earning actor. He has been in 2 movies making more than $1billion dollars, Marvel’s The Avengers and Iron Man 3.
Angelina Jolie

2. Angelina Jolie told 60 Minutes TV Show in 2011, “’I took just every drug possible – coke, ecstacy, heroin, everything,’ In 1996, Angelina told the UK’s Mirror: “I have done just about every drug possible: cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and,
 my favorite, heroin.”
Nicole Richie

3. Nicole Richie
on CNN in 2005 stated, “By 18 I had stopped using cocaine and that’s when I got — got into 
pills a little bit and then — and then I got into heroin.”
Chris Herren

4. Chris Herren, former Boston Celtics NBA player stated in his autobiography Basketball Junkie “People think that when you’re doing drugs you’re high all the time, out partying. They think you’re having fun. That’s not it at all. You’re not having fun. You’re in hell.” Chris has been clean and sober since 2008.
Russell Brand

5. Russell Brand
 told The Guardian in 2013, “I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralizing pain. The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction.”
Steven Tyler – Aerosmith

6. Steven Tyler, Aerosmith lead signer states in his autobiography, he was spending $2,000 a week on heroin, cocaine and alcohol. “I blew 20 million. I 
snorted my Porsche, I snorted my plane, I snorted my house in that din of
 drugs and booze and being lost.”
Eric Clapton – singer/song writer

7. Eric Clapton
 was depressed and addicted to heroin during 1971 and 1972. With help from friends Pete Townshend, Stevie Winwood, Ron Wood, Jim Capaldi, and others, Clapton had kicked heroin for good by 1974 when his Number One album 461 Ocean Boulevard came out.
Samual Earl Jackson – actor

8. Samuel L. Jackson
 overdosed three times on heroin. He told biographer Jeff Hudson, “The third time I OD’d on heroin I quit
 the drug completely. It’s too dangerous, I was mad. I was crazed. I was not happy with who I was.”

P!ink – singer/song-writer

9. Rock star P!nk “I overdosed in ’95, and then I never took drugs again, ever.” “Heroin is a horrible thing. I’ve seen first hand what it can do to people and it’s not pretty. I was never that much into it to need treatment. “But you name it, I took it. I buried three friends from heroin overdoses.She recently told Britain’s The New Review (speaking about her daughter), “No, she (is) never gonna f**king touch heroin. I’m gonna make sure of it. And if she wants to f**king hate me for it, that’s fine.”
Ozzy Osbourne – heavy rock singer/song writer

10. Ozzy Osbourne – In 1978 Ozzy admitted he was addicted to heroin and entered rehab. His public struggles with his addictions over the years show that there is always hope, and recovery is possible at any time.
Corey Feldman

11. Corey Feldman
 was arrested in 1990 for heroin possession. In 2013 he told HuffPost Live “…maybe I should try that [heroin] now. So I did, and boom – instantly addicted…The only one that really ever took me down that fast and that hard was heroin, and it was awful. It lasted maybe a year, a year and two months.”
Tatum O’Neal – famous entertainment family

12. Tatum O’Neil describes her heroin use in her memoir, Found: “I had started craving [heroin] psychologically, longing to sink into oblivion. Then without it, I began to experience frighteningly dark depressions, with fierce anger as their flip side.”

Thanks to all of these celebrities and to the many other people who publicly discuss their use and struggles with drugs, particularly heroin. They offer hope and examples that there can be a wonderful life waiting anyone who is struggling with heroin addiction or heroin abuse.

Addiction Awareness Week in June 2015!

Every year, SANCA Vaal Triangle joins the rest of the country in dedicating a week in June towards creating awareness around addicition (particularly substance abuse) and further educating the community regarding addiction.

In 2014, the yelllow ribbon wrapped around a tree was chosen as a visual means of marketing this very important calendar week.

Very soon, we will be providing more information with regards to the Addiction Awareness Week campaign for June 2015.

Until, then take c4are…

Quit Smoking Programme with SANCA Vaal Triangle


You can save at least R7378 before the end of the year!

if you QUIT smoking now!!

WHERE: SANCA Vaal Triangle, 9 Einstein St, Vanderbijlpark

WHEN: Wednesday 3, 10, 17, 24 June 2015 @ 18:00-19:00

COSTS: R500 – paid in advance. Pay before 2 June.

PROGRAMME: 4 group sessions filled with lots of information & techniques, incl. medical support


Send your name, contact info, proof of payment to:

E: F: 086 699 0585

T: 016 933 2055




Branch: 632005

Reference: Name + Quit

Card machine available.

What to tell the children of addicted parents – use the 7 C’s


SANCA Vaal Triangle deals with various types of addictions as well as different contexts of addiction. One of the most difficult situations to face relate to children whose parents are addicted to a substance or behaviour. Understanding what to say to children with addicted parents can help them get a handle on the stresses and strains of their everyday life. Never let a helpless child go without someone to talk to. Stand up and be their rock through a tough situation.

There are millions of children living in homes where there are either one or both of their parents addicted to some type of controlled substance. These children deal with chaos and instability in their lives everyday. For children of addicted parents, they need to know and hear certain words on a regular basis.

The National Association of Children of Alcoholics has developed the “7 Cs of Addiction”. Most children that come from homes where controlled substances are abused become scared and may isolate themselves from society. It is important to never let these children walk through this journey alone. They need to be able to have someone to talk to. The message below is a great way to let them know there is hope and it is okay for them to take the next step through their own recovery.

“I didn’t Cause it.
I can’t Cure it.
I can’t Control it.
I can Care for myself
By Communicating my feelings,
Making healthy Choices, and
By Celebrating myself.”


Children of addicted parents can be very scared and want to isolate themselves from other people. They may be scared because they are afraid of what other people or what their parents may think.

These children need to have someone they can talk to on a regular basis. They need to know that when they do open up and talk about their problems, what they say will stay safe and be a secret.

There are times that the proper authorities may need to become involved, but the child needs to know that they can trust another adult with their fears and emotions.

If you know of a child or family in a similar situation, do not hesitate to contact SANCA Vaal Triangle.

How Can I Help An Addict, Even If It’s Me?


SANCA Vaal Triangle is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of individuals and families affected by addiction. The first question usually asked at SANCA is how to stop an addiction.

The first step to stop the process is to admit there is a problem. This has to be an honest and clear admission – not something I say today and deny tomorrow. Not only the addict denies, but their loved ones also ignore the realities. A mother, father, or spouse doesn’t want to face the possibility that things won’t just work out on their own.

What loved ones typically do is punish the user, thinking that somehow that will wake them up. The only thing accomplished is that the addict gets a bit better at concealing their habit. They will lie, cheat and steal to avoid the consequences and keep using.

Punishment isn’t the answer. Help is needed. We know a great deal more in the new millennium about how to treat addiction than we knew even ten years ago. That is why admitting the problem is so important. Step one is admission, and the next step is to seek real help.

Knowledge is power

If you or a loved one is addicted, it is time to get educated. Not all addictions are the same. Some require serious medical intervention. The Internet is a good source of information. It doesn’t replace professional help, but it can keep you from making obvious mistakes. SANCA is always willing to assist and educate where necessary. An online support group or forum where you can ask questions may also prove useful. There are many recovering addicts out there who are ready and willing to listen. It is a powerful thing to talk to someone who has traveled the same road.

Join a support group

SANCA offers a support group as does Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. One of the obstacles to recovery is a feeling of isolation. The support group will give needed encouragement, education and support.

Seek professional help

Addiction is a medical condition. When the habit has become well rooted in someone’s life, it is extremely hard to simply change. The path to recovery requires a guide. Modern rehabilitation involves withdrawal followed by therapy to teach the skills needed to stay on track. 

Don’t give up!

Studies show that professional treatment followed by group meetings is the best chance for real change. Even so, many addicts will relapse. Some will relapse and need in-patient treatment many times before they get any long-term recovery. But the alternative – untreated addiction – is too dire to simply surrender. It is a mistake to think you’ve plumbed the depths of how bad an addiction can get. Without a serious and continuing effort, it will get worse… and then still worse.

A wise, recovering alcoholic once put it this way, “The disease of addiction is like riding an elevator down into hell. The elevator is slow, but it only goes down. What I wish people could realize… the thing their addiction tries to hide from them… is that you can get off the elevator any time. You don’t have to ride it all the way down.”

Courtesy of 

Community Development Workers and Volunteers Training

SANCA Vaal Triangle

Our Community Development Workers and Volunteers are completing as series of learning modules geared at personal development.  The skills include:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Basic coaching skills
  • Managing depression and anxiety
  • Problem solving skills
  • Time management skills

The training is also providing the Community Development Workers and Volunteers with skills to better uplift their respective communities – including our established youth programmes. Click on the below links to see more.







Our YouTube Channel:[/

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