Takheni Rehabilitation Centre gives assistance and fresh start to drug addicts in Mpumalanga

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The newly established Takheni Rehabilitation Centre at KaNyamazane in Mpumalanga has extended a helping hand to young people who are struggling with drug addiction.

The township faces the challenge of drug addiction and drug abuse, and the centre wants to ensure that young people get the assistance they need. At the moment, the centre has 45 patients including males and females.

Irvin Mashile, who manages the centre, was a drug addict himself having been introduced to drugs at the young age of 16. He says even though he performed well at school, bad influences as well as struggling to cope with life’s challenges drove him to living on the street for two years and drug dependence.

Daily, he used substances such as nyaope, rock, tick and many others. At the age of 34, he met the founder of the rehabilitation centre and was part of one of the first groups of addicts assisted by Takheni. Now, at the age of 36, he is a qualified accountant.

”[We want] for our future generation to have a drug-free society. Our clients are those people who are smoking, those who are homeless and those who are stealing because of their bad habits trying to fight these drugs,” says Mashile.

The patients currently receiving help at the Takheni Rehabilitation centre say it has been a difficult journey.

“I have qualifications, done matric, done a bit of tertiary, and then I dropped out because of drugs. I recovered and went back to drugs and I recovered again. Now I am here recovering some more,” said a patient of the facility.

Another patient at the facility says, “I started smoking it at an early age. Now, I have more than two months at this centre, which means there is progress. Even my family didn’t trust that it is possible for me to stop smoking.”

The founder of Takheni Centre, Bonginkosi Lubisi, who stays with his family says, he decided to share his home with people who are ready to quit drugs even though it has its challenges.

“Some of the issues we face are the people who are selling these drugs. They can see that we are saving the community, and it puts our lives in danger. We need security, there is a lot we need,” says the centre’s founder.

Once patients have completed the programme successfully, the centre helps them to start afresh with getting employment.