Residents unite in the fight against drugs

A parent talking about a drug problem faced by the community.

The Noordgesig Local Drug Action Committee (LDAC) hosted an Intensified Workshop on Substance abuse on Wednesday.

The workshop which was aimed at tackling the scourge of substance abuse in the area was well attended by young and old residents of Noordgesig.

The discussion was centred on how residents can work with other stakeholders to eradicate the challenge of drug abuse in the area.

Representatives from the Department of Health, the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca), Famsa and the South African Police Services were given a chance to address the workshop.

Recovering addicts spoke about their experiences of using drugs and how they got rehabilitated. They encouraged parents to never give up on their children who are using drugs but to always support them.

A Sanca representative explained to residents how the organisation goes about helping those who want to stop using drugs.

However the problem was that residents were not in agreement with the fact that parents are not allowed to force their addicted children to rehab. The addict has to admit that he or she needs help and be willing to voluntarily go to rehab.

Chairperson of the LDAC Raven Martin said the workshop was aimed at bringing to the attention of all residents the dangers of drug abuse in the area.

There was a general consensus amongst all attendees of the workshop that the focus should be at helping those who are addicted.

“I must make it clear that as the LDAC, our job is not to arrest the drug dealers. Our job is to help those who are using drugs and the police will deal with the arresting of the dealers,” said Martin while addressing the workshop.

Residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the police for failing them. Some went as far as accusing them of taking bribes from the drug dealers.

A representative from the Orlando Police Station urged anyone with information about police irregularities to come forward or forward the information to the station commander.

Martin said, “Through this workshop we also wanted to help parents understand what happens when their children start using drugs.

“We brought all the stakeholders who were involved so that parents can also know where to go for help.”

Martin ended by making a call to all residents to come forward and join hands with the LDAC in the fight against drugs in the area.

Also Read: SANCA takes drug education to the people

Mzwandile Khathi

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