Substance abuse on the Dolphin Coast has reached crisis proportions, particularly among young people.

In November 2013, God gave me a vision of people with drug addiction problems and children suffering from emotional and physical abuse, crying out for help and with nowhere to go. These people were valuable people yet Society had judged them and cast them out. The vision came about as I was praying and asking God what I could give back into my community and not just benefit from where I live? Reaping without sowing will end in no further crop being harvested.

The vision wasbig and detailed and the end resulted in people being set free from the chains that bound them, and were now dependable people in our society and not dependant people. We have all been created with a purpose and a plan for our lives and many never live it out due to outside influences, often not intentional but circumstantial situations and the pressures of our lives. I envisage a three year launching process to get this vision up and running.

We need to take notice when very young children are habitually using drugs and alcohol. They appear to be swept up by the fast pace of life and the culture of instant gratification that comes with the technological age, enriching drug dealers and destroying our community. Alcohol, along with steroid addiction, has also become common among the very young. There are many reasons for this rise in substance abuse which include; the easy availability of drugs and alcohol, children with large amounts of spending money and time, boredom, peer pressure, curiosity and the arrogance of youth. This, coupled with the denial of many parents, is a recipe for disaster and, as the numbers swell, so the problem grows. South Africa is one of the leaders in the rapid world-wide increase in drug abuse, according to international statistics.

Cocaine, dagga, performance enhancing steroids, crystal methamphetamines, (also known as tik or sugars), amphetamines, mandrax, ecstacy and over the counter prescription drugs are all high on the list of addictive drugs and some of the drugs used on The North Coast. The average global norm of marijuana use per country is 4%, South Africa clocks in at 8%.Almost 240 000 South Africans use cocaine, 270 000 use the amphetamine drug known as tik, crystal meth or sugars. Many are addicted to mandrax, and increasing numbers of young people are regular users of highly addictive steroids and ecstasy (MDMA).

Most steroids need to be injected, are highly addictive and cause long term users to become increasingly violent, often turning on their families and leaving them shattered, fearful and financially devastated. Case studies show that steroid users normally move onto other inject -able substances to fulfil the craving.

My vision, with the help of the Dolphin Coast Community, a non-governmental organisation, called Against Drugs and Child Abuse (ADCA), has just been launched.

The newly formed organisation ADCA, will provide a safe and understanding environment in the form of a drop-in centre. Here the values of love, care and accountability will be re-established.This non-profit centre will be a safe, drug-free zone dedicated to helping people of all ages, cultures and religions to learn to overcome addictions. Counsellors will be available to address the problems that have led users into the world of drugs. It will be a place in which to address anxieties and addictions, with no fear of possible punishment. Different seminars will be held in the auditorium for parents to learn different tools and coping measures for family members suffering from drug abuse or emotional abuse. Qualified coordinators and facilitators will be used for these seminars. A family that includes a drug addict is a family that generally lives in fear of the addict, who will go to any lengths to finance their habit.  In many cases family members are physically abused and stolen from by the desperate drug addict in their home.

The vision is to have the drop- in centre with an auditorium, gym, coffee lounge, offices, counselling rooms and areas for relaxation and activities for our youth. The centre already has medical backing when needed.

It will not be a rehabilitation centre but a place where people can feel safe and supported. There will also be meetings, led by those who have conquered their addictions.

ADCA is looking for help from the Dolphin Coast community and businesses, to establish its office and drop-in centre in the Ballito CBD, and for the funds necessary to keep ADCA operational. Let’s do something to give our youth the best chance at living their best life.

If you are able to help in any way with a once-off donation or a monthly donation to ADCA, it would be gratefully accepted. We will not call in this pledge until we officially launch the project. Please see Pledge Page on the web site.  Several payment options will be available and we do all the financial paper work for you. Our book keepers, Wium and Co from Ballito, will handle all financial matters. If you would like any further information on this project, please e mail rex@adca.co.za . Your e -mail will be answered immediately or a personal appointment can be arranged.

I, Rex Hunt, have been in this area for the last ten years and am involved in other upliftment projects in the area. My passion is to see the vision of ADCA be birthed and become sustainable here on the Dolphin Coast. My wife is a school teacher and counsellor and is involved with me in other areas of ministry. My two children have been locally schooled at Umhlali Preparatory.

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