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Gauteng gets new drug treatment centre

Written by Thabo Molelekwa

Gauteng and a private sector partner have opened a new in-patient substance abuse treatment centre

 CocaineLife Healthcare Group and the Gauteng Department of Social Development marked the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by opening an in-patient substance abuse treatment centre in Randfontein, West Rand.

The centre, which will accommodate 900 inpatients, opened its doors on 26 June and already has 200 patients.

According to Morgan Mkhatshwa, the Life Esidimeni’s managing director, the Life Recovery Centre and Halfway House will cater for substance abuse patients in Gauteng, and target the West Rand region, where there’s a great need for such services.

“The Life Recovery Centre is a high-quality hospital based substance abuse treatment centre for those who cannot afford private rehabilitative care,” said Mkhatshwa.

Master Sithole, a recovering addict, told Health-e News that he was trapped in drugs for 15 years and encouraged parents to give their children all the attention they needed before they sought it elsewhere. “There is no drug I didn’t smoke, and there is nothing that I didn’t steal,” said Sithole. “I started smoking after matric because things were not looking good for me.”

Sithole now counsels drug addicts and refers those in need to rehab centres.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane Zulu urged people not to judge addicts but to help them “because they did not choose or fill in application forms to become drug addicts”. She said for communities to win the drug battle they needed to work together and take collective responsibility for all children. “Unless we get that right, we are never going to win this battle,” she said.

About the author

Thabo Molelekwa

Thabo Molelekwa joined OurHealth citizen journalists project in 2013 and went on to become an intern reporter in 2015. Before joining Health-e News, Thabo was a member of the Treatment Action Campaign’s Vosloorus branch. He graduated from the Tshwane University of Technology with a diploma in Computer Systems and started his career at Discovery Health as a claims assessor. In 2016 he was named an International HIV Prevention Reporting Fellow with the International Centre for Journalists and was a finalist in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards competition in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Thabo also completed a feature writing course at the University of Cape Town in 2016. In 2017 he became a News reporter , he is currently managing the Citizen Journalism programme.You can follow him on @molelekwa98