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Local waste collectors, Tshepho Mapheto and Oscar Mohale want to quit drugs and live a clean life.

Kicking the habit

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Saying you need help and admitting you have a problem is the first and one of the hardest things for a drug addict to do. In desperate times, it is seemingly uncommon for addicts to prefer a drug-free life and a new beginning.
Two homeless unemployed young adults residing on the streets of Polokwane, and who make a living by collecting and recycling waste, however, appealed to the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (Sanca) to help them kick the habit.
Tshepho Mapheto (20) and Oscar Mohale (26) say their lives have been in a shambles since they were caught in the drug web three years ago.
Found in Voortrekker Street on Saturday, the duo begged for money and visibly shaking, craving their next fix. Both had septic wounds on their hands – evidence of needles penetrating the skin.
Mapheto, who has ambitions of becoming a scriptwriter says he is tired of begging and wants to live a clean life.
“We have been using drugs for the past three years but we are no longer enjoying it. We smoke and inject nyaope and it is difficult to quit. We can’t sleep at night. We are always sick – experiencing relentless and excruciating stomach cramps everyday. We have wounds all over our bodies. We want to stop but we don’t know how. We want to live a clean and normal life. We are tired of handouts.”
Mohale, who wants to venture into aviation wants someone to help him go back to school and fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot.
“I love aviation and I am also fascinated by aerospace. I don’t want to continue with this life. I am tired of it. I want to marry someone one day and have a family of my own. This addiction is detrimental to our dreams but it is not too late to start over again.”
Hezekiel Boloka, Provincial Director at Sanca said anyone who needs rehabilitation and detoxification is welcome.
“It is possible for someone to rehabilitate. We are willing to help them to undergo the detoxification treatment at the local hospitals and Seshego Treatment Centre. We are also urging all those who are battling with drugs to come forward. They must not be ashamed and afraid to approach us. We have therapists who are willing to help. We are situated at 33 Kerk Street,” Boloka said.

Story: Herbert Rachuene
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