‘Addiction is a disease’

2018-09-19 06:01

TEXT

A LOCAL man from Narcotics Anonymous who is recovering from drug addiction and asked not to be named, said the only way to curb the high and rising number of drug-related crimes was to deal with the issue of addiction first. “People are ignorant to the fact that addiction is a disease … Drug addiction has an influence in crime rates as addicts would do anything to get their next fix, even if it means stealing from friends and family. Resorting to crime doesn’t mean we as addicts don’t feel remorseful or don’t have a conscience. We are not blatant criminals; it’s just that the addiction is so powerful and it demands more drugs.”

The man, who has been clean for the past 21 months now, said whoonga is one of the worst drugs, and once someone becomes addicted to whoonga, they suffer excruciating pain and would do anything to get drugs to stop the pain. — WR.

GUN Free South Africa released a statement yesterday saying the latest national crime statistics show guns are the weapon of choice to kill, injure, threaten and intimidate others.

“A shocking 41,3% of murders and 59,5% of aggravated robberies in 2017/18 were gun-related,” said the statement.

“Between 1999/2000 and 2013/14, handguns were used in 94% of murders and 97% of aggravated robberies.

“Violent crime has not been this high since the late 1990s, when the number of guns in South Africa peaked. Government’s response to the 1990s crime wave focused on reducing the availability of guns in communities through police operations and stricter controls to regulate legal gun ownership.”

The statement said the majority of illegal guns were once legal before being leaked into the illegal pool.

Gun Free South Africa has called for Minister of Police Bheki Cele to begin operations to recover and destroy unwanted, and illegally held guns, including holding a national firearms amnesty and vigorously undertaking crime-intelligence operations.

They also asked him to review and upgrade weapons storage and destruction facilities to prevent loss and theft and ensure weapons earmarked for destruction are destroyed. Lastly, they called for the amendment of the Firearms Control Act (2000) to simplify the administration thereof and “rigorously restrict access to handguns, which are highly prized by those who cannot get access through legal channels”.

— Witness

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