As the country is on its second week of the 21-day national lockdown, the sale of alcohol is one of the prohibited products that do not form part of the essential goods in terms of the regulations.

SABC News Research has looked at the potential consequences of alcohol withdrawal symptoms on people who have a drink regularly and those who are dependent on alcohol for a prolonged period.

The SABC looked into academic research from Havard Health School and Rehab Guide to look into the effects of alcohol withdrawal.

It’s stated that alcohol withdrawal is the changes the body goes through when a person suddenly stops drinking after prolonged and heavy alcohol use.

The withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms include trembling, insomnia, anxiety, other physical and mental symptoms, seizures, high blood pressure and disorientation.

Those long term and heavy users of alcohol often need rehabilitation and medical care to stop drinking. While various regulations have been amended for the 21-day lockdown period, the sale of alcohol and cigarettes is still prohibited.

Ban on alcohol negatively affecting South Africans who drink

Many South Africans who are addicted to cigarettes and alcohol are being negatively affected by the national lockdown – both physically and mentally.

Meanwhile, the South Africa Drug Policy Initiative is calling for a reversal of the decision to ban the sale of alcohol and tobacco during the 21-day period.

The organisation says although the decision was taken in good faith, people who are highly addicted to nicotine and alcohol will develop a range of symptoms such as psychosis, seizures and even death.

Initiative founder Keith Scott says the ban may also pave way for other illegal markets to thrive.

“Once you prohibit a drug as we know alcohol and tobacco, the criminals will get hold of the market and open these shebeens, the illegal ones. That will put another burden on the police. You don’t suddenly withdraw drugs from people. Unfortunately, people are cheering on the police to get tough on people who are actually suffering.”

In the video below, the effect of the COVID-19 on liquor businesses: