Cape Town South Africa
Drug education delivery to thousands of people over years.
When South Africa was a largely poverty-stricken country struggling with apartheid, it did not attract much attention from international drug traffickers. When apartheid ended in 1994, trade with other countries increased, border controls began to relax, and the customs of the citizens began to shift. In certain sectors of the society, more people were affluent.
That was all that drug cartels needed to see. South Africa appeared on their radars at last and conduits to bring illicit drugs into the country in greater quantities began to be developed. As the conduits developed, more drug abuse began to be seen in many regions of South Africa.
Increased drug trafficking joined other factors in causing rising numbers of drug abusers and addicts, including damaged social and family structures resulting from decades of apartheid, and the pressures caused by changes and stresses of the country's modernization that followed its political changes.
Cannabis and Methaqualone Are Biggest Drugs of Abuse
Cannabis had long been used as part of traditional life in Africa, but its use and availability was strictly controlled. When traditional life was replaced by urbanization for so many people, those controls broke down. Large quantities are cultivated within South Africa, mostly in small plots in remote areas suitable for agriculture.
Methaqualone may be better known in the United States as Quaaludes, a sedative popular in the late 1960s and 1970s. In South Africa, it is often in conjunction with cannabis, with cannabis and alcohol, or by itself.
After these two drugs, heroin, cocaine and Ecstasy are growing in availability and use. Crack cocaine has appeared on the scene since 1999 and is often used by sex workers. Many poor and young people use inhalants such as glue or solvents.
Club drug use is very heavy in a few urban areas such as Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. It's estimated that in each city, 10,000 people gather for raves twice a month and 70 percent of the attendees use drugs, preferably Ecstasy.
Alcohol Leads Treatment Demand
While the growth in use of illicit drugs gathers more attention among governmental agencies and the United Nations, alcohol is by far the top cause of people needing drug rehabilitation. In different provinces of South Africa, between half and two-thirds of all those asking for drug addiction treatment were suffering from alcoholism.
Of illicit drugs, cannabis sends almost two-thirds of all addicts to drug rehab centers. Accurate surveys on how many cannabis users do not exist, so estimates on how many people use this drug vary from four million to 11 million.
Multiple Narconon Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers Exist to Save Lives
Starting in the 1990s, volunteers began to deliver the effective Narconon drug education and prevention curriculum in the Cape Town area. Since then, two residential drug recovery centers have been established, one in Moorreesburg outside Cape Town, and another in Johannesburg. The Johannesburg drug treatment facility also serves as a base of operations for more drug prevention activities.
In Cape Town, even the local police have been trained to be Narconon Drug Prevention Specialists so they could teach the local residents how to stay off drugs. Over two years, more than thirty policemen received this training.
A community support group for those who are addicted also learned the safe way to help a person come off addictive drugs by learning how to administer the Narconon First Step Program. This training taught them to get a person through a drug withdrawal that is much safer and more tolerable than just going "cold turkey." With more than 15,000 heroin addicts in Cape Town, there are many people they can help with these skills.
Drug Education Reaches Out to Students
Those delivering the Narconon drug prevention and education curriculum are very focussed on helping children decided to not start using drugs. The children hearing these lectures often carry the message to other children, extending the reach of any drug education lecture.
In one year, Narconon reached more than 14,000 children and adults with this drug-free message. In one case, 100 students were not only taught the curriculum but were also taught how to help an addict through a safe drug withdrawal. More people were taught these techniques in a community workshop.
Help With Addiction When it Really Matters
South Africa is so huge and its social problems so extensive that Non-Governmental Organizations like Narconon are essential to bring people the drug recovery programs they need. Around the clock in two locations, staff members at Narconon centers in Cape Town and Johannesburg help people learn how to live a life free from any drug abuse or alcohol consumption.
When one has drugs and alcohol abuse all around them before entering a drug rehab, it takes a thorough drug rehabilitation program to enable that person to re-enter society clean and stable. And that is what the Narconon program does. Internationally, seven out of ten graduates of the Narconon program know how to stay clean and sober.
By working the drug abuse problem from both sides, both preventing young people from starting and helping addicts recover a sober life, Narconon helps South Africa achieve a brighter future.