By the time this website project was conducted, the five young men had been on the OST Demonstration Programme for about 1 year. They were able to reflect on their own journeys into drug use, and also on their pathways to ‘recovery’. Each of the journeys are different – some catalysed by serious trauma and disconnect, and others by the influence of friends in resource-poor community settings. For each of them, though, having access to OST medication fundamentally improved the quality of their lives. This is critically important as OST treatment is not publically available in South Africa. OST medications are still not on the Essential Drug List, and the legal framework is still largely prohibitionist and punitive when it comes to drug use.
This website provides a platform for these five men to showcase their talents, and to tell their stories. It is our hope that other people who identify as people who use drugs, or who have been part of harm reduction programmes will add their stories to the website. The goal here is to talk about drugs and to stop the harm. Through talking, we help others to understand but we also create connections and through connections we forge healing. The more people who share their positive stories about their experiences of harm reduction interventions, the more we are able to advocate for availability of such interventions in South Africa
Welcome to this website. Let’s talk about drugs! Feel free to share stories, videos, and publications on this website.