POLOKWANE – “The name symbolises speaking and educating on addiction. We give people the opportunity to recover and do so with dignity.
“I am a recovering addict myself and was addicted for 24 years of my life. I ended up hitting rock bottom, becoming a homeless man wandering the streets of Johannesburg,” Ferguson shared his story with BONUS.
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Having had an epiphany at 40 years old, he went to rehab for almost two years where he managed to beat his addiction.
After getting clean, he has since completed a masters degree and certification in addiction counselling and recovery coaching.
He is asking assistance from the community and business sector to establish a rehab centre in Ext 71, outside Westenburg, which will house addicts from Westenburg and surrounding areas.
Ferguson has a successful recovery centre in Johannesburg which he opened with the assistance of two stakeholders in November last year.
The rehabilitation centre, he explained, was previously a drug den and is now used to help people in their recovery.
They currently have 45 people in the recovery programme, including two people from Polokwane.
The facility they want to develop in Ext 71 is currently just a house with two back rooms and they are in need of temporary structures like wendy houses to put up at the facility to enable them to help more people.
Thus far, they have received six double bunk beds enough for 12 patients to sleep. They also have a bathroom facility that has a shower and toilet but they would like to build more to accommodate everybody.
“I don’t want to just house men at the facility because there are women who also struggle with substance abuse,” he said.
The centre also needs a generator, a portable sauna, which Ferguson explained is crucial to help patients get rid of the toxins in their bodies due to the addiction.
Khuluma Ed-Diction does not have any big sponsors and it runs strictly on the basic payment the patients pay upon admission. “For a six-months programme, people can pay R14 000, but the first balloon payment, which is all inclusive of the the deposit, the detox fees and the first months’ fees is R6 000.
From there the patient can pay R2 000 a month,” Ferguson explained. They are trying to get sponsors on board to help get the rehab centre up and running. If enough sponsors get on board to cover all costs, patients might not have to pay for rehabilitation.
Kyle Tale, a recovering addict, has been clean for seven months thanks to Khuluma Ed-Diction and spoke about the initiative Ferguson is bringing to Polokwane.
Tale said he realised he had an addiction eight months ago when his family chased him out of the house, feeding him through the gate because his younger siblings were afraid of him. “I came to the realisation that this was not the life I wanted to live. I asked myself if I were to die then, would I want to die having left a bad taste in my family’s mouth? That was the day I asked my dad to help me,” he said, adding it was not an easy road as he initially didn’t plan on staying in rehab. He soon realised, however, he wanted to change his life for the better. “In the programme we learn not to act on emotions and we learn to face situations. If you want that change, you should take it. I have been to four other rehabilitation centres but this one has done so much for me because we do everything based on fact. Everything focuses on you as an individual and what you face daily,” he said.
Anyone willing to help Ferguson with his initiative can contact him at 071 138 4243.