60 Minutes and The Cedars target substance abuse among SA’s youth with 10th anniversary production

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“According to the World Drug Report 2021 the population most at risk of using drugs, young people aged 15–34, is projected to grow in the next decade, in particular in low-income countries. The average age for drug dependency in South Africa is a staggering 12, with 50% of South African teens drinking alcohol.” – South African Depression & Anxiety Group

Massive inequality, high unemployment and extreme poverty among South Africa’s youth have converged to create a drug problem that rivals the global average. The pandemic, which brought increased economic and health challenges, exacerbated the situation, prompting the need for large-scale intervention. An example of those making a difference is The Cedars Treatment Centre and 60 Minutes Fight Against Drug and Alcohol NPC which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a must-see roadshow brought to South African schools.

“Substance abuse is at an all-time high for different reasons in our society,” commented Stellio Coutsides of the Cedars Treatment Centre, a boutique group of addiction and mental health treatment facilities. “We want to carry our message of hope to those who need it, and to those who, year in and year out, wait for our production to uplift them during their journey to recovery.”

60 Minutes runs an annual roadshow to empower and educate South African school-going youth about the dangers and dire consequences of drug abuse and guarding against systematic poverty. For the past nine years, 60 Minutes has enjoyed an impactful partnership with The Cedars whereby in-patients are invited to participate in a short play. The story follows the experiences of a school-goer who experimented with drugs or alcohol, went through addiction, loss and found recovery.

“Patients and past patients from The Cedars play an integral role in the roadshow because, through them, we get real stories of real people, making it more relatable to our audience,” continued Stellio, explaining that past patients play a support role with final approval provided by 60 Minutes.

Brighton Hlatshwayo said that the roadshow was resumed in 2022 after a two-year break owing to Covid-19: “The roadshow was impactful as it addressed issues which were relevant to the experiences of the pandemic which directly linked to addiction.”

Every year, the roadshow sees the team touring six schools. With this being the 10th anniversary, the final rehearsal will include a commemoration of the growth of the show. This will feature special guests, sponsors, previous participants, and recovering addicts from the Cedars who will share their experiences, and how the show has assisted them in the recovery journey.

60 Minutes 2023 Roadshow

1.  Final Rehearsal

     Date: Saturday, 22 July

     Venue: Umkomaas Primary School

     Time: 4pm to 6pm

     Members of the public are invited to this special event. The team encourages those affected by substance abuse.

2.  Monday, 24 July – Crawford La Lucia and Crawford North Coast

3.  Tuesday, 25 July – Amanzimtoti High School and Kuswag Skool

4.  Wednesday, 26 July – Queensburgh Girls’ High School and Grosvenor Girls’ High School

For more information, contact 083 743 3435 or email brighton@lightnessproductions.co.za.