Helping addicts recover

2017-03-21 13:02
Founder of the Panorama Recovery Centre, Monty Reddy, is celebrating 20 years of sobriety this year.

Founder of the Panorama Recovery Centre, Monty Reddy, is celebrating 20 years of sobriety this year. (Omega Moagi)

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After almost losing his life to alcohol and drug abuse, Monty Reddy — a recovering addict who now has been sober for 20 years — founded the Panorama Recovery Centre to help other addicts.   

“I was raised by a loving mother and a school principal father who wanted everything of the best for me. Materially I had everything in life. I had a car at 18 and I was progressing in my career. I also played football with hopes of a successful sporting career. Alcohol and drugs robbed me off all that.

“I started smoking drugs at the age of 15. By the time I reached 16 I was a Mandrax addict. I first got the opportunity to get clean at the age of 20. My father introduced me to the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) and I saw numerous psychiatrists in attempts to get clean, but those failed. 

“At the time I had not grasped the concept of the disease that I was living with. I used to associate drug and alcohol addiction with the homeless person on the park bench with a long beard and dirty clothes. It took me 12 years to realise that I was exactly like the man on the park bench. The only difference was that I still had a roof over my head. 

“The turning point in my life came at the age of 32. I got involved with some gangsters and I was brutally assaulted while heavily drunk. My son was one-and-a-half years old and my wife was pregnant with my second born. I realised I didn’t want to die and leave my family as the person that I was.

“After I recovered I decided that I wanted to help other people who were just like me. Someone was there to welcome me into the doors of recovery and I wanted to do the same for other people. 

“I founded the Panorama recovery centre in 1998 because I wanted to educate recovering addicts about the disease they are living with. Our disease includes restlessness, irritability and discontent. These things will forever stay with us, but we need to find ways to cope with them.

“At the centre we offer hope and a chance for spiritual growth so that one can start to piece their life back together. When addicts seeking recovery see that we have won the battles that they are currently fighting, they believe that they can win them too.” 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pmb people

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