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YOUNG people will learn about the dangers of drugs and substance abuse through an educational campaign running until the end of June.

Community SafetyThe City’s Public Safety Youth Development Focal Point started the campaign in Soweto on 14 June. It will move on to other areas next week, with places such as Alexandra, Hillbrow and Roodepoort on the itinerary.

“The City will visit Alexandra on 19 June, Hillbrow on 23 June and Region C on 26 June,” says Nkosinathi Nkabinde, the City spokesperson.

The Department of Housing Youth Focal Point, United National Breweries and Gauteng Liquor Board have been roped in to inform unemployed and out-of-school youth about the dangers of taking drugs. The campaign is part of Youth Month activities.

Drug and alcohol abuse affects the entire spectrum of society, from very affluent communities to the poorest of the poor, according to Nkabinde. The most common drugs abused are dagga, cocaine, nyaope, crack, codeine, ecstasy, heroin and mandrax.

Alcohol and drug use and abuse are among the causes of fatal road accidents. With this in mind, the campaign aims to reduce the number of emergency calls received by the Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS) and the Johannesburg metro police departments (JMPD) for incidents and accidents happening as a result of abuse.

Substance abuse manifests itself in many different ways. It often starts when teenagers are put under peer pressure to experiment with drugs at a young age. Drug dealers also target vulnerable groups such as children and minors. In addition to the many problems associated with drug use, HIV is often transmitted through the sharing of needles.

The youth awareness campaign is part of the City’s Youth Development Strategy, an integral part of Joburg 2040, its vision to create safe, secure and resilient communities.

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