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The City is going on a multimedia blitz to curb the ever escalating problem of drug abuse, especially in townships.

On 30 July, the Social Development cluster was at the Coronationville Recreation Centre, South West of Johannesburg to launch the campaign aimed at raising awareness of the devastating effect of drug abuse in communities.

“This campaign will use multi-media components, including community newspapers and social media (Facebook and Twitter). Regional activities been taking place; pamphlets and posters will be distributed,” says Councillor Nonceba Molwele, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City.   

PR Councillor, Theresa Van Der Merwe says the City will be using social media to connect with young people in addressing the problem.

“We want to reach out to young people through the relevant platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will also give them a chance to share their experiences on peer pressure and get the necessary support.”

She said young people were oblivious to the effects of drugs and with the help of a non-profit organisation, they would be provided with information and be able to make informed decisions.

“We have also brought on-board stakeholders, including NGOs, sports and religious organisations as well as community members.”

Following the launch, the Department of Social Development will be posting and updating information under the #COJonsubstanceabuse. The information will direct people about where to find help, drug action activities taking place, NGOs contracted by the City to fight the scourge of substance abuse, support groups for parents and identifying young people as peer educators.

Councillor Van Der Merwe said drugs are devastating communities across the social spectrum. “Drugs know no race, creed or gender. It affects the rich and poor. So we need to stand together as communities to fight this scourge.”

Recovered drug addict and Truth About Drugs motivational speaker Fiona Calder shared her experience. She said she had been clean for 11 years.

“I’d like to make others aware about what drugs can do to you. It’s hard to get back with no support of your loved ones. I’m here to help everyone to achieve their goals and dreams,” she said.

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