‘Be positive, don’t take drugs’

2015-06-30 06:01
Miss Teens Cape Town 2015 Lithakazi Royi says she has adopted substance abuse as her social issue during her reign and joined in the fun to promote the motto “do fun not drugs”. She joined the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre at an awareness day hel

Miss Teens Cape Town 2015 Lithakazi Royi says she has adopted substance abuse as her social issue during her reign and joined in the fun to promote the motto “do fun not drugs”. She joined the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre at an awareness day hel

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Do fun and not drugs.

This was the message that the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre gave in commemoration of International Day Against Drug Abuse day.

The Centre also organised an event at the Civet Street park outside the Centre on Friday.

Ashley Potts, the facilities director, says they want to promote the initiative, especially in the area that they serve.

“As a community based treatment programme we would like to continue to seek opportunities to extend a message to the public that there is life beyond drugs and gangsterism and even though our focus is treatment, we want the community to know that they can and should do fun not drugs.

“As part of the awareness week on substance abuse and the international day against drug and illicit trafficking, we propelled our energies towards a message of hope. We decided on focusing on the kids to bring about a message that encourages fun as a healthier alternative to drugs,” he says.

Through this message, the organisation steered children’s focus to doing something for the children suffer the negative impact drugs has had on their community, Potts says.

With live music, soccer, jumping castles and a beauty queen, the sounds of laughter and fun filled the streets.

The day was the last in a week promoting drug awareness and also the first day of the school holidays.

Lithakazi Royi, Miss Teen Cape Town 2015, also attended the event. She said many areas had a lack of positive rolemodels.

“As a beauty queen you need to have a cause and I did not want to take the same one as everyone else, which is teenage pregnancy. I chose drug abuse and it is something I am passionate about,” she said.

She said she wanted to bring hope.

“I live in a community where children are throwing away their futures. I think that everyone makes mistakes but they must take it and learn from it and recover. This will give them the power to face it and move forward,” she said.

Royi added that she hoped to continue the work of inspiring others to change and become something positive instead of turning to drugs. The Counselling Centre was also visited by the local ministers for health and social development – Nomafrench Mbombo and Albert Fritz – at the beginning of the week to showcase the work done by government facilities.

“The department of health often receives those people battling addiction at the very end of their journey when they visit our facilities under very difficult conditions. Under my leadership we have realised that this approach means that we intervene when it is already too late. We have to make the shift from curative measures to wellness emphasis so we may minimise the numbers of people presenting at our facilities because of substance abuse. While the department offers a hotline initiative to those who are in need of help, it is crucial that we get involved at the prevention phase,” Mbombo says in a joint statement with Fritz.

Several other facilities and organisations in the area also celebrated Drug Awareness Week which lasted from Monday 22 to Friday 26 June.


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