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KATLEGO* is a recovering cocaine addict. She started taking drugs two years ago in Pretoria. She moved to Joburg after resigning from her job.
“You know how to look for the people who are selling wherever you are,” she said, adding that she used to spend at least R600 a day on the drug.
She is now in her second month of rehabilitation and goes to the Sanca Alexandra branch for her medication.
“If I couldn’t afford the R300 cocaine I would substitute it with CAT which cost R150,”she said.
Katlego said she denied her addiction initially. At first she would share the drugs with her friends, but six months into her addiction she stopped taking.
She decided to check herself into rehab after her life started falling apart. With a management degree from the University of Pretoria, she was well spoken and came from a good home. The 24-year-old went from marketing jobs to telesales and managerial jobs for private companies.
“I am educated, had a degree and I couldn’t keep a job,” she said.
Katlego said she could easily get a job because of her profile and the way she presented herself, but she would never disclose that she was addicted to drugs. But she would get hired and after the first pay cheque she just wouldn’t return to the job.
“I’d go for the first month and leave it or just be there physically but blank out. The drug makes you disorganised, you keep fake friends and hang out with people who can get you what you want,” she said.
She became destructive and her spiritual life faded. “I’d leave home for three to four days with my family not knowing where I was,” she said.
Her family were hit the hardest.
“I remember my mom saying one day I would realise the pain I was putting them through,” she said.
Katlego said her rehab was going well. “The social workers make you want to attend the sessions and they bring people who have already recovered in and that gives you even more motivation to heal.”