04 July 2018

Imprisoned by drugs, dagga and alcohol

After spending three days in police cells for malicious damage to property, Smangaliso realised he needed to change before it was too late.

He started drinking alcohol and watching pornography at the age of 13.

A year later, he started smoking cigarettes and dagga.  Within a week, he was addicted.  When Smangaliso was doing matric, he took drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine.

"When I started, I only used drugs once a week and I was able to pass my matric. I was then awarded a bursary to study mechanical engineering at university and I resided on the campus.

When I was away from my parents, my drug intake increased. I spent all the money that my parents sent to me on my addiction. I did not do well in my studies because of my addiction. As a result, I failed three modules in my first year, but I was able to make it to second year. I could not cope with the additional work and I eventually dropped out," said Smangaliso.

In 2013, Smangaliso's parents advised him to go back and finish his studies, but he did not finish.  In 2016, he re-registered but his addiction proved to be a problem and he dropped out again.

The following year he was arrested for malicious damage to property after he fought with a security guard and broke the library door.

"I visited my friends who lived in the university's residential area and I was drunk from the night club when I had a scuffle with a security guard. Police were called in and I was arrested for three days. Being in the police cells made me stay sober for three days, for the first time in years. It also gave me time to reflect on my life. That was when I realised I needed to do something before it was too late," he said.

He was invited to the Universal Church in 2017.

"I committed my life to God and attended the Addiction Cleansing Therapy to ask God to deliver me from my addictions. After a month in the church, I was able to quit alcohol, stop taking drugs and watching pornography. Three months later, I stopped smoking cigarettes and dagga. I occupied my mind with the word of God. I went back to university because I now have the courage to complete my diploma," he said.

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