Former drug addicts Tshepo Mapheto and Oscar Mohale will embark on the second phase of rehabilitation at Seshego Treatment Centre in the last week of August.
Mapheto and Mohale, who last month pleaded for help to quit drugs, completed the detoxification process at Pietersburg Provincial Hospital last Thursday.
The duo reached out to Polokwane Observer last month to assist them to find help at the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (Sanca) in their quest to quit drugs.
They were found in Voortrekker Street on Mandela Day and begged for money, visibly shaking, craving their next fix. Both had septic wounds on their hands – evidence of needles penetrating the skin.
They said their lives have been in a shambles since they were caught in the drug web three years ago and all they wanted was to repent and live a clean and decorated life.
Two weeks later Sanca was able to trace them and booked them into the provincial hospital for detoxification which they completed with ease.
Mapheto described the road to rehabilitation as challenging, but emotionally fulfilling.
“I can’t believe that God has answered my prayers. I wanted to quit drugs so bad but I did not know which route to take. I was in the dark but now I see the light. I have completed the detoxification process and it was not an easy one. We spent two weeks at the provincial hospital and the medical personnel welcomed us with open arms. They were eager to help us and we were willing to complete this process. I am clean now. I am no longer craving a fix, I just have an amazing appetite for food.”
The 20-year old stressed that he is now prepared to undergo the second phase of the rehabilitation.
“Like I said in our first interview all I want is a good and clean life. I want to have a family of my own and go back to school and I feel I am on the right track. Sanca has booked us into the Seshego Rehabilitation Centre for the next three months and we are ready for this journey. We don’t know what to expect but we will approach every phase with an open heart and mind. This is what we need and we don’t want to disappoint ourselves, our guardian angels, our immediate families and the people who love us. We want to follow the entire process of rehabilitation to the letter.”
Mohale said the detoxification process was hard for him but he cherishes the outcome.
“It was not an easy process. The first four days were difficult because the medication they gave us was unpalatable. I vomited everyday but I eventually got used to the treatment. We were in good hands and we no longer crave a fix. We had an appetite for food, something that we did not have in the past. We ate three nutritious meals a day and enjoyed every bit of the treatment. I haven’t touched any drug in the past four weeks and I’m happy. I feel like a new person.”
Mohale urges other drug addicts who want to quit to come forward and seek help.
“We are from the streets and there are a lot of young men who were like us but they don’t know how to get out of the situation. “There are many institutions that can help them for free of charge and we are saying to them they must go out and seek help.”
Mapheto pleaded with provincial government to come up with initiatives that will include young men in the mainstream economy.
“A boy child is an endangered species and I feel one of the substantial reasons they resort to substance abuse is that they feel neglected by the powers that be. There are so many initiatives aimed at empowering women but less programmes aimed at empowering young men.”
Hezekiel Boloka, Provincial Director at Sanca said they are happy with the progress made by Mapheto and Mogale. “They did well during the detoxification process. They worked well with our therapists and we wish them well in their next journey. We will continue monitoring them until they complete the process.”
Story: Herbert Rachuene