Ex-addict issues a stern warning

2019-06-25 06:00
William Cupido is currently running an NPO to help communities stay away from using drugs

William Cupido is currently running an NPO to help communities stay away from using drugs (Racine Edwardes)

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Having suffered a steadily worsening drug addiction for 40 years, a Retreat resident is now looking to make a difference in the community by warning children to stay away from these addictive substances.

“Kids must stay away from drugs – and don’t even experiment,” says William Cupido, a former drug addict who has turned his life around to become a motivational speaker around the Retreat and Ocean View areas.

His aim is to reach out to all communities in need of his expertise by offering workshops and support to children who find themselves without safe homes, abused woman and children, addicts and inmates.

“I’m clean for seven years now. I started Second Chances Outreach three years ago and got my registration as a non-profit organisation (NPO) in 2018,” he explains. Cupido runs and office in Retreat.

Touching on the story he tells the children, addicts, at-risk youth and people in need of support; he began his journey with drugs at a young age.

“I started at the age of 14 by experimenting with cigarettes, and then it went to dagga, and then it went to Mandrax and on to other heavy drugs. The last drug I used was tik,” he says.

His road to recovery did not begin by attending rehabilitation or by someone assisting him to get better, but rather because his body began to let him know that he could not continue the way he was going.

“My body just started to slow down, I would get tired just walking short distances, the drugs started to eat me from the inside-out.”

When he finally sought help from a doctor, he was given just three months to live if he did not have an operation to save his life – which meant cutting out 70% of his stomach.

Now, with a lifetime of experience on the topic of substance abuse, he tries to steer his peers and the youth away from drug usage.

He has spoken – and still continues programmes – at a number of schools in Cafda, Ocean View, Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Lotus River. He also runs a support group in Ocean View.

“I’ve got a passion to work with youngsters and people who need my help – wherever they need me, I go,” he says.

  • For more information on the work he does, call William Cupido on 071 769 8255 or email williamcupido7@gmail.com.

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