Sanctuary for addicts’ families

PARENTS struggling to "survive” their child’s drug addiction have a place to turn to, thanks to Families Against Drugs (FAD), who hold weekly support groups for stressed and heartbroken family members of substance abusers.

"Parents are the victims of the addicts. The addicts choose this type of lifestyle for themselves. Their parents simply have to survive it,” said FAD chairman Howard Lagerdien who has been helping families for the past 16 years on his own.

The organisation holds support group meetings daily at 7.30pm in the Al-ansar Hall behind the Drop-In centre in Gelvandale.

They also hold support group meetings at the same venue every Tuesday at 8pm for those fighting against their addiction.

Lagerdien said users were becoming younger and more experimental.

"According to Sanca stats, children as young as 10 years are being introduced to substances. The main drug in our communities is crystal meth or tik.

"We find these children are doing things to be socially accepted by their peers, out of curiosity and a lack of social activities.”

The 20 FAD members have received training from NMMU psychologists, Sanca and renowned drug councillor John Preller, and are well equipped to handle a variety of different situations and problems.

The organisation intends expanding their operation to Uitenhage within the next month.

In an effort to increase awareness of substance abuse, FAD will be setting up a billboard at the junction between Stanford Road and Beetlestone Road illustrating their cause and contact details for everyone in need of assistance.

The organisation also intends putting up smaller billboards at as many schools as they can afford, to help spread their message.