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

This is according to the SA Drug Policy Initiative which 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 once. 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.”