Parkside unites against substance abuse

SAY NO: Organisers of the anti-drug campaign that took place in Parkside last at the weekend. Members of the SAPS and local community organisations were also present                                        Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Local community organisations got together with the SAPS last weekend to host an anti-drug awareness campaign at All Saints Day Care in Parkside.

The event saw recovering addicts, members of local anti-drug groups and police representatives share their stories with the community in order to raise awareness about substance abuse and provide support to those currently suffering or those dealing with a friend or family member going through addiction.

One of the key speakers was former ward 19 councillor Derek Green.

“I just felt that if I didn’t say something, it wouldn’t do justice to me personally and to our society,” he said.

Green has personal experience with drug addiction, with his son having been an addict.

“It’s [his son’s addiction] impact forced me to withdraw in 2016, to not be a councillor, because I cannot stand in front of communities and talk about development while I have my own struggles.”

For Green, one of the biggest obstacles to effectively combating addiction within communities is the enablers who push harmful substances on others.

“Enablers,” said Green, “are more powerful than the preventers” and are responsible for turning people astray.

In order to fight the scourge of substance abuse, said Green, the community must work together with the police.

“The police cannot do anything without the community and the community cannot do anything without the police.”

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