Life 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.