We welcome contributions from people in all stages of addiction. This is a guest post from someone currently homeless in Cape Town that we are trying to help.
Addicted and Homeless in Cape Town Part 2
Just another DRUG ADDICT ON THE STREETS OF CAPE TOWN whose nights – one–eye open nights – are now so much longer as I travel into day. Let me tell you, my first visit to the social worker at Somerset Hospital was all but pleasant, but before we get to that, a friend of mine had paid for me to stay at a venue for the weekend and during that time, I came across these very pertinent words that I share with you on the left.
Yes, the much anticipated visit was a complete and utter disappointment. All I was hearing was that I must understand that it can take up to 9 or 14 months to get into rehab and that I in any case will have difficulty getting in because I have a pending case for possession. That this fact could have a negative impact on my being allowed into rehab or not went above my head (especially as my next court appearance date was for 6 months hence and rehab only plus/ minus ⅔ months) It hit me me then like a ton of bricks- SHOCK!FACT! This wasn’t going to be as easy as the Billboards with Patricia’s face on for when I was doing favours in exchange for getting then clients into rehab centres.
Well, this is what the social worker present that day suggested I do, fill in the forms and come see me next week. If you are not happy then see the head of the Department (Well, now we are getting somewhere, I stupidly thought before he utters “who just so happens to be on leave”.
When one is on drugs, one exhibits certain behavioural patterns and anti-social behaviour that is usually not part of your sober make-up as a human being-and believe ALL ADDICTS display these, irrespective of upbringing, education or social standing before the drugs: We all become master liars,
manipulators, deceivers and ultimately thieves-and it’s easy because you justify every single word and deed-there is always someone or something to blame for you being at this point of desperation. With this in mind I have to wonder how the powers that be can use this to deny an individual wanting to go into rehab that opportunity. I for one, already had to face a charge of possession, did they want me to do even worse and first get arrested for theft before they realise what I already know.
I am systematically removing myself from society and destroying any possibility of reclaiming my name and reputation in society. But I bite the bullet and wait out my visit to the Department Head.Well, I am still containing myself in not going off about the ridiculous state of affairs when it comes to service delivery by both government and non-governmental but state funded organisations mandated to perform certain functions on behalf of the government and of course the general public’s apathy and complacency towards this.
The honourable mayor of Capetown, Ms Patricia de Lille – Mayor of Cape Town, at one point in reference to the growing masses of people living on the streets of Capetown and the effects thereof, said to the public in general;: “you deserve them!”. At the time I thought, what the hell does the woman mean, but she is right. Because if you just accept something and keep on accepting the status quo, then you are ultimately keeping it exactly that “status quo”! The mayor was referring to the general public dishing out two and five rand coins indiscriminately, irrespective of the
effect it might have on that person’s life and mine is similar, if we accept the horrendously rude, pathetic and policy defying behaviour by those working for the organisations (both state and state funded), then we are in effect deserving of it. Well, my dears, I am sorry, I WILL NOT!
But it being a lovely day today and my story with my current mission in life well on track to fruition (after I spent days on end up and down between hospitals and social development – departments in order to finally get someone to understand the urgency thereof and give me the medical report that was still required but had originally been in the file but had also mysteriously disappeared into space but was also required to be back in the file before 15h00!) I did it!
Despite the obstacles of an ill social worker (I would be sick too if my staff treated me the way hers do), the lack of concern for the priorities of the office and its clients by these two individuals left running her office – they were off to more important things than helping the three clients that had patiently sat waiting through their lunch hour, followed by their “ward visit”only to then be told they unfortunately could not spend time with us now as they are off to – a colleagues farewell! The last thing I had on my mind was “spend time with them”, I just wanted my folder so I could sort out their mess! and then had to go beg a poor already thinly drawn out doctor in casualties to complete the form from scratch! But I said I would not labour the issue, so without further mud slinging, and God alone knows I have the fullest right to mud sling! I have to praise and give thanks to those within these organisations and the system that have gone the extra mile for me in my fight against the dreaded “D”-DRUGS!
Firstly all my supporters including most of the ward councillors I have worked with during my time at ELIM- YES! who keep inboxing little notes of huge support-too many to name-and you know who youare, then officially:
- Ms. Carmen Titus (Head Social worker at Somerset Hospital) and Ms. Aishia Bassardien (Social worker at DSD Capetown),for probably getting so sick of me at their offices every day that within 17 days arranged for me to go into rehab at The De Novo Treatment Centre (a state funded rehabilitaion centre in Kraaifontein)
- Mr Russell Gregory Kinnear (De Novo), your limitless energy for my challenge is inspiring and I owe you a huge bouquet! Thank you! I was accepted for a drug rehabilitation at De Novo Treatment Centre .
Now one would think, nothing else could go wrong! Ha! we are talking an addict here. I was mean to patiently await a call that would tell me to report within so many hours to DeNovo. I got that call at 16h30 on the 21st of November 2014 and the great news was I had to get myself there
by 8pm or would be excluded from the program. What do I do? call the dealer stock myself up on CRYSTAL METH AND GHB and go by train instead of the private cab that was arranged for me.
By the time I arrive in Kraaifontein at aprox. 19h30, I am trashed. I get robbed of all my belongings, land up at the police station and arrive at De Novo Treatment Centre at 02h15! I thought to myself, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and I am stuffing this up pretty nicely after all the nagging and irritation I caused people just to get in, but as ultimately we don’t really have a choice in these matters and His will be done, De Novo accepted me at 02h15 on 22 November for a 90 day rehab program.Christmas and New Year’s n Rehab…….to be continued.
Addicted and Homeless in Cape Town Part 2 is over.
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