Pledging for a #DrugFree Eldos

Eldos residents came out in support of the anti drug initiative.

The drug pandemic has taken hold in Eldorado Park. This is evident in the bags which hold an assortment of drugs ranging from ‘cat’ to ‘lolly’ littering the streets and the many young lives damaged by continued drug abuse by the youth. This pandemic is infesting our community in the worst way possible.

On a daily basis, many of us in the community walk around with a target on our backs or having to constantly look over our shoulder in fear of being robbed by users searching for easy cash to buy their next fix.. This is because the youth of the community have become victims to this evil. The yearning for a buzz or high has the youth robbing people at almost any hour of any day, from the working class all the way down to learners on their way to and from school.

(L-R) Dereleen James, Cherly Pillay, Paris Makaringe.

In 2013, Dereleen James, the Eldorado Park anti-drug activist, wrote a letter to president Jacob Zuma to complain about the drug scourge which has been visited upon our community. James, through personal experience, has made it her mission to take on the drug problem in the hope that it would be eradicated completely and residents would be able to breathe freely in the knowledge that our children were safe from this evil.

She wrote a heart-rending letter about her then 17-year-old son’s drug addiction and how he had returned from rehabilitation only to start abusing drugs again. In the letter, she wrote that he stole from her as well as selling his clothes in order to feed his addiction. In February 2016, a total of 37 identified drug outlets had been raided and 385 people were searched. These raids led to nine cases that were registered as well as the arrest of 34 suspects for drug-related crimes.

Brigadier Pieter van Dyk adding his signature to the pledge.

The number of families affected by drug abuse within Eldorado Park cannot be counted as the pandemic has become so widespread that it has almost become the norm. Anti-drug activism is very much alive in our community.

To keep the flame burning as the community attempts to fight this drug scourge, the Local Drug Action Committee (LDAC) believes that we can have a drug free Eldos. In an attempt to rid Eldos of drugs, LDAC invited the community to sign a pledge at the Eldorado Park Police Station on June 26 from 9 am until 12 pm, to commit to working towards a drug-free Eldorado Park.

 

They assembled at the corner of Main Road and the Golden Highway (R553) in order to create awareness and to garner much-needed support from the community in their continuing efforts to stem the tide of drug abuse.


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  AUTHOR
Dane Job

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