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Global Perspectives: Chatsworth - A Chance For Change

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 14 April 2012

Set up during apartheid in the 1960s, Chatsworth is an Indian township near Durban which has been devastated in recent years by 'sugars' - a highly addictive cut of heroin, mixed with rat poison to prevent blood clots and any other powdered household goods - available to bulk it up and make it cheap.

The withdrawals are agonising.

Sugars came to Chatsworth with addicted minibus taxi drivers from Durban and cut through the youth like wildfire.

Those addicts whose families have any possessions of value steal from their families, those who don't con and beg in car parks and steal from shops.

Heroin addictions are notoriously difficult to treat, and the figure quoted for long-term recovery is below 10%.

But in Chatsworth Sam Pillay, founder of the Anti-Drug Forum, thinks he has come up with a combination of detox drugs and family therapy rehabilitation which he wants the world to know about.

It's early days but he estimates that so far their success rate is in the region of 60 - 80%.

Chervon Chetty, who is from a South African family of Indian origin with roots in Durban, visits Chatsworth to see the impact of 'sugars', and hear about the chance for change in addicts' lives.

Produced in partnership with SAfm

Presenter: Chervon Chetty from SAfm
Producers: Chervon Chetty and Kate Howells

(Image: Presenter Chervon Chetty. Credit: Kate Howells)

  • Sam Pillay - Founder of the Anti-Drug Forum

    Sam Pillay - Founder of the Anti-Drug Forum

    Credit: Kate Howells

  • A drug test box

    A drug test box

    Credit: Chervon Chetty

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