SHALLCROSS YOUTH BATTLING WITH DRUGS
By: Tashlan Naidoo
The Shallcross area has been rife with drugs for many years.
Drug addicts are said to be walking around freely in the community doing whatever they can to get their hands on a fix.
For a long time there was concern about drug usage amongst the youth, but very little was been done to solve the problem. Recently there has been a visible increase in the amount of
youth involved in drug activities, be it using or dealing.
Ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, sugars, button and rock can be found in various places throughout Shallcross.
“Drugs in Shallcross are becoming an increasing problem because it is easily accessible.
It is distressing that more and more young adults are indulging in it,” said Darren Chetty, a resident.
Chetty, added that the community does not know who is at fault, the dealers or the youth.
Some local schools are also affected.
Gordan Marimuthu Govender, Wingen Heights Principal said, “There have been many cases of students that have been found in possession of marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs on
school property over the years. The only thing we do is call their parents and police.
The students are sent to Anti-Drug Forum (ADF) Center in Chatsworth for testing and counselling.”
The ADF was created to help combat substance abuse amongst the different communities.
According to ADF Social Worker Carl Max, they do urine tests for the students and if a student is found positive for any substance, then the student undergoes an intervention
“The program runs once a week for five weeks. The students come to our facility and they are councilled by social workers and facilitators.
At the end of the five weeks the students are given another urine test and if they are still positive then they are further monitored and councilled at our center,” said Max.
She also said that there is an urgent need for a joint effort among parents, schools, communities and the ADF to stop the destruction of the next generation. The ADF has seen
hundreds of youth whose lives were almost ruined but with their help they managed to put them on the right track.
Govender stated that unlike other schools in Shallcross, he does not hide his schools problems to keep its reputation up.
School Councilor Sharon Nobin said, “Experimental, initiation, peer-pressure and family problems are the most common reasons for students taking drugs.”
Sashen Singh, ex-drug addict and former Wingen Heights pupil said that drugs affected hislife in a negative way.
“I was always high, short for money and could not remember things at times. I do not know how I managed to pass grade 10 and 11,” said Singh.
Singh added that the ADF programme helped him to get to know more about drugs and get a deeper understanding of his emotions and why he resorted to drugs rather than talking about it.