Addiction and the community’s role

Dr E V Rapiti

A Warm Welcome…

Edubiz Media would like to thank and welcome Dr Rapiti to the EduBiz editorial board. We are delighted that Dr Rapiti agreed to contribute valuable and much needed content on the topic of DRUG ADDICTION. Dr Rapiti has more than twenty years’ experience working in our community. He is a highly qualified general practitioner, an author and an art enthusiast.

It is indeed a great honour for me to write my first article for the EduBiz blog. I hope my articles about addiction will assist the community, especially our youth to rid our society of this vile affliction.
The topic of drug addiction has received so much media attention over the past 15 years that it almost feels like everything has already been said, written and researched. It is, however, a topic that I feel must be emphasised on continuously given that it continues to grow within our communities.

Drug addiction is has become akin to a norm in today’s life. It has, unfortunately, become an acceptable trait in our communities. It is, indeed, a topic of much debate and concern when something that breaks up families and communities at such a speedy rate becomes the accepted standard in both the youth and elderly alike. This addiction has become synonymous with coping and as an escape from both the troubles of society and personal struggles. It is also used as a perceived reason to steal, abuse, murder and even rape, increasing in severity as the affliction grows. As this is a growing community problem, I decided to start the series of articles by focussing on the very important role that the community can and must play in the continuous fight against drug addictions and the social issues it brings.

I was hopeful to mention the latest drug addiction statistics in this article, but could not find updated statistics as no proper information about drug addiction in our communities are available. In my opinion, based on over twenty years in the field of counselling, the reality is that drug addiction has reached epidemic proportions. This should be a huge concern and should receive priority involvement from everyone in the community. Gone are the days when we could close our eyes to the drug additions epidemic. It is real and unless our communities get heavily involved, the epidemic will continue to grow.

There are many, many aspects of addiction, which I hope to cover in the future articles – but let’s start with the things the community should do:

1) Educate themselves about addiction by attending support groups for substance users, families and members of the public. There are several groups offering help. 4 Steps group, Narcotics Anonymous, Naranon, AA, Alcoholics anonymous and many spiritual centres. Their addresses can be found on the web as well as on this app. In addition, the Cape Town Drug Counselling centre, Sultan Bahu and The City of Cape Town in Tafelsig offer outpatient help for substance abusers.

a) My booklet, “4 Steps to healing” is available for from my website This simple book is meant to guide and assist those afflicted with substance abuse, their families and anyone interested in starting a support group.

2) The community must lobby the government to re-evaluate the laws concerning the possession of illegal drugs and/or substances. State resources should, in my opinion, be reallocated to rehabilitating and assessing individuals suffering from substance abuse. The police resources should focus on closing down of dealers and drug merchants instead of prosecuting their victims.

3) Encourage religious organisations, educational institutions, civic bodies, big business and the media to get involved in the fight against the spiralling scourge of drug addiction.

Finally, anyone wishing to set up a support group in their area is welcome to contact me on 0213976029 / 0825811846

Dr E V Rapiti

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