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Looking for a rehab reason


Facilities are out of this world.

The playing field. Picture: Danie van der Lith

ON WEDNESDAY a group of about 14 recovering drug addicts escaped from the Northern Cape Substance Abuse Treatment Centre and came knocking on the DFA’s door as they felt they were being unfairly treated and no attention was given to their grievances.

My heart went out to them when they told me stories of how they wanted to turn their lives around, be a better provider for their families and a more proactive member of society.

For some it was now or never – it was either rehab or go to jail.

What a wonderful gesture. They were really trying to change for the better.

And, walking through the facility yesterday, I was like WOW! I desperately need to start thinking of some reason to book myself into the facility.

I was totally and utterly amazed. From the moment we walked through the door, everything was so clean and so neat. The security staff at the front desk were friendly and we were greeted warmly by the centre manager.

We then proceeded down the passage and past the visitors area, which was intimate and inviting. If I was just visiting someone there I would also want more than one visit a week.

There is a fully-equipped kitchen and qualified staff were busy cooking an amazing-smelling lunch. No matter how many hints I was throwing, they were just not biting and I walked out of there with my stomach grumbling.

Next, we visited the detox centre, which has beds that I can only dream about. The centre then branches off into various wards for young and old, male and female.

Some of the wards have single beds whereas others have to share. No problem, I say. With those beds, my fellow service members will just have to live with my snoring.

Moving along, there are various classrooms where you can learn a skill that will help sustain you financially when you leave the centre. You have a choice of either cooking, sewing, beauty or carpentry. And all of these facilities have state-of-the-art equipment.

If you think you already possess a “skill”, the centre will help you enhance it – for instance painting. Or if you are a budding sportsperson, there is artificial grass where you can hone your skills.

Then you can head to the gym to work off the last of your energy before taking a dip in the pool, chilling with your mates.

I can understand where these recovering addicts were coming from. If it was me, I would also like to skip the horrible detoxing part of the programme and just jump right into all the nice stuff.

Now, by breaking protocol and probation they have in effect shot themselves in the foot.

For once, I can say that the government is moving in the right direction by providing residents with this state-of-the-art facility.

Drugs are a very big problem in the Northern Cape. Some reports indicate that children between the ages of five and nine are already starting to drink.

There is a lot of poverty and unemployment in the Province as well. Not only are youth falling prey to substance abuse but adults as well, just to cope with the drudgery of poverty, where they have nothing and nobody.

An article I read recently told the story of a young Northern Cape drug addict who went to seek help in the Eastern Cape. The young man is now well on his way to recovery. With the opening of this facility our youth need not leave the Province, we have help on our doorstep.

I understand that there is a waiting list to get into the facility. I think I need to contact the authorities and instead of going away for my leave I’m going to book in.