A church in Rustenburg in North West is turning the tide on drug addiction in its community.
Drug-addicted youth from across the province and beyond have enrolled in the faith-based recovery program which sees them going cold turkey with no medication for addiction treatment.
Mpho Tlhong, a recovering drug addict, says smoking marijuana was a coping mechanism.
“I used to smoke marijuana as a coping mechanism to help me sleep but today I am free. I have been liberated by the blood of the lamb.”
Many young people here say their victory over addiction was achieved through faith and prayer.
“I have suffered because of drugs, today I am a new person. I could be in the streets roaming around for nothing.”
“Starting from the 4th of October until today I am a drug-free man, an alcohol free man, and a cigarette-free man.”
“Drugs can torture you. Today I am happy when my brothers tell me I am handsome and I have changed.”
“Some of the places we respect are the very places that don’t help us. I have been to many rehabs before this one,” some young people share their sentiments.
While this centre has grown significantly since its launch in 2015, keeping it afloat remains a major challenge. Founder of Victory Christian Center Reverend Jeanette Maithufi says there’s no assistance from government.
“Government doesn’t help us because they wanted us to bring in doctors and nurses here. But I told them that this is my calling from god to use prayer to heal and my reason for not allowing medication here is that many of the youth here are from government rehabs with doctors and nurses. They are all here.”
Sadly, down the road from the church, the scourge of drug abuse continues unabated.
Boitumelo Mogomotsi who is still battling to fight his addiction says it takes determination to go into rehabilitation.
“It’s not about the building. Rehabilitation starts with you and when you are in rehab you have to find the core problem that led you to drug use. So most of the time people relapse because our families don’t realise that they also need to rehabilitate with you because it won’t help that you go to rehab to change but when you get back home you find the very same conditions that led you to drugs.”
For those behind the church walls the battle to recovery wages on.