Turning the Tide of Drug Abuse in South Africa
- Nearly four million citizens in South Africa abuse drugs; one out of every 14 people.
- Drug-Free World South Africa has reached over three million people through more than 700 events over the past year alone.
- Every minute more than forty people are searching on the Drug-Free World site for answers. All told, 71 million people have visited drugfreeworld.org.
- 95 million copies of The Truth About Drugs have been distributed in 196 countries in 22 languages.
With more than four million people in the nation abusing drugs, South Africa’s drug problem is truly epidemic. To halt this decline, Drug-Free World South Africa has greatly stepped up its actions to bring the truth about drugs to the nation’s youth, with the support of the IAS-sponsored campaign.
In the last year alone, the team has reached over three million people through more than 700 events in schools and communities across the country.
For the first time in over a decade, national statistics of individuals driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol have dropped by 2.5%.
Notable amongst the areas with the greatest change is the drug hotspot of Eldorado Park in Soweto, where a local pastor has been distributing the Truth About Drugs materials directly into the community, and the driving under the influence of drug and alcohol stat dropped by an astonishing 24%.
These stats measure the hundreds of thousands of lives across South Africa that have been saved from the devastation of drugs.
The following are just a few examples of what those who are partnering with Drug-Free World in Africa have to say about the program:
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA:
A teacher received her Drug-Free World materials and held her first curriculum lessons. She wrote: “Thank you for all the support and resources. The impact of the education program was tremendous. Many lives were touched and the new edition of the DVD has been really effective in the teaching and training. We had lots of people who were drug users get extremely emotional listening to the real stories. It was power-packed. People drove from different locations to attend the drug education programs and I have more requests for the program. Thank you! It was certainly a memorable day. Lives are being transformed. We are now starting a support group from our local church.”
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA:
A councilor from a crisis center writes: “Your materials are so specific that we were able to answer every question that came flying our way! We handed out so many of the pamphlets, that we actually have a list of names from people who wanted some booklets but we ran out within several hours after starting the function. I’m really so excited. With the events of last week, we had so many inquiries that we are launching a course starting next week for the victims of drug abuse. WOW, it is so amazing! Thanks again for the materials you’ve sent—these really helped a lot. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO HAVE SUCCESS WITH OUR CAMPAIGNS IN COMBATING DRUGS! It is just amazing how we can be worlds apart but with the same goals, reach such success!!”
Barry Paul of the Giselle Foundation (an African charity organization), in partnership with the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, is conducting drug education lectures across more than six African countries. In the last few months, he and the Foundation have reached 25,194 youth in the East and Central Africa regions. Barry Paul sent out a newsletter highlighting their recent activities: “A team of our drug-free educators are out to support the youths and the communities with effective skills and educative materials that are provided by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World and have so far reached 6,327 youths in Kenya; 4,569 youths in Uganda; 4,032 youths in Tanzania; 3,456 youths in Rwanda; 1,378 youths in Burundi and 5,432 youths in Congo. This gives a total of 25,194 youths reached with the Truth About Drugs information through lectures and drug-free booklets.”