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In September 2007, Ellen Pakkies, a working mother from Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, strangled her son to death. The judge in the subsequent trial sentenced her to community service for her crime. What drove Ellen to commit this horrific deed, and why the ostensibly light sentence for such a heinous crime?
The story of what happened over ten years ago has continued to grip public interest, putting a spotlight on the dire and desperate situation faced by many parents of addicted children. A highly successful play was produced in theatres around South Africa in 2011/12, and a full-length movie has recently been made of this story, which will reach the big screen in September 2018.
When Dealing in Death was first published in 2009, the scourge of drug addiction was sweeping across South Africa, affecting every level of society. Little, if anything, has changed since then, as this new edition reveals. The use of tik, particularly in the Western Cape, has skyrocketed, and it was Abie Pakkies’s addiction to this drug, and the horrendous impact it had on his and his family’s lives, that drove Ellen to murder. Her trial exposed the dark underbelly of a community crippled by drug and alcohol abuse, and focused attention on the plight of those who live in poverty and do not have recourse to drug-rehabilitation centres and other measures effective in the treatment of addicts.
Dealing in Death looks at the global and local drugs culture, the predicament of Ellen Pakkies and other mothers like her, and an impoverished community and the apartheid laws that gave birth to it.
In 1980ís apartheid Cape Town, five-year-old Desiree-Anne is grappling with how sheís going to turn her tar baby dollís skin into sweet, soft lily-white. What she has learnt is that Whites are better than "everyone else". She doesnít know how to force her father to stop drinking or gambling or make her mother love her or get the boys and men to stop touching her in secret. She learns how to soothe the pain: through secret masturbation and lying.
As she grows up, she begins to understand the rules of living in her depressed family as well as in her fractured community.
In her teens, laden with the awkwardness of bushy, unruly hair, braces, and a body shorter and rounder than a Womble Ė and now firmly planted in a 'White School', Desiree-Anne is forced to confront her ĎColoured identity crisisí. She turns to self-harm, disordered eating, the thrill of petty theft and escapism through books and acting. Although she wins a place to study drama at UCT, sensing her parents cannot afford the tuition, she opts to go to the UK where she gets lost in bars, clubs and pills. On her return to South Africa she embraces the ďfree loveĒ Ecstasy trance club scene but when she meets Darren, a heroin addict, she turns to needles. Her search for love and acceptance descends into a self-destructive spiral as an intravenous smack addict.
This is a harrowing memoir on the darkness of addiction, but it is also a touching and sometimes humorous account of a little-girl-turned-womanís deep need and reckless pursuit for love. When Desiree-Anne finally finds recovery years later, she uncovers her real voice to talk and write about things that were previously left unspoken.
'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
Exit! is the story of Grizelda Grootboom life of prostitution and her ultimate escape from it all.
Grizelda’s life was dramatically changed when she was gang raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township. Her story starts there. It is a story about the cycle of poverty, family abandonment, dislocation and survival in the streets of Cape Town. She reveals the seedy and often demonised life of a prostitute; she describes the clubs and beds of the prostitution and drug industry over a twelve-year period.
She moves to Johannesburg at the age of 18 in an attempt to start a new life, but instead she is trafficked on arrival in Yeoville, tied in a room for two weeks and forced to work as a sex slave. What follows is a life of living hand-to-mouth, from one street corner to another, being pimped, being taught how to strip, and acquiring and using a variety of drugs – from buttons, ecstasy and cannabis to cocaine – to sustain herself. She speaks of how her prostitution gains momentum in city strip clubs and the sometimes tragic pregnancies that would follow.
Grizelda’s harrowing tale ends with reconciliation with her family, while raising her six-year-old son. In writing this story she hopes to open a window on the hidden and often misunderstood world of prostitution, thereby raising better awareness and understanding about its harms and the horrors of trafficking and prostitution of women and children, and drug abuse. She hopes to heal and to set an example for others to follow.
Stormie Omartian tells her compelling story of a childhood marred by physical and emotional abuse that eventually led her into the occult, drugs, and tragic relationships.
Finding herself overwhelmed by fear and on the verge of suicide, she shares the turning point that changed her life and reveals the healing process that brought freedom and wholeness beyond what she ever imagined.
In this poignant drama, there is help and hope for anyone who has been scarred by the past or feels imprisoned by deep emotional needs. It is a glorious story of how God can bring life out of death, life out of darkness.
Stormie wrote about some of the things that happened during the first thirty-five years of her life in a book called STORMIE that was published in 1986. She began the story at the major turning point in her life which started her climb out of darkness. She decided to again start at that point of deep darkness she was living in, in order to fully explain what drove her to the point of recognizing her condition and finding help. The following thirty-seven years after that point to the present day, is all new, much of which she has not spoken about publicly before. She feels the entire story should be told in order to prove that once you recognize the darkness for what is it, it is possible to walk out of it and in to the light for the rest of your life.
"My name is Samantha and Iím an alcoholic. At the time of writing, Iíve been sober for 13 years, 11 months and 16 days. And yes I still count. I promised I would never speak about it publicly until my children understood what that meant, that mommy was an alcoholic. I think they may have understood long before I did."
From Whiskey To Water is the no-holds-barred memoir by one of South Africaís most loved radio talk show hosts, Sam Cowen. Having kept her alcohol addiction well away from the public eye for over 14 years, in this tell-all tale, Sam finds the courage to talk about her struggle with her addiction to whiskey, food and finally to a passion that saved her life Ė marathon swimming. Told in her characteristically hilarious dead-pan style, this is one of the bravest books youíll read this year.
"So this is a book on how I stopped drinking? No, itís not. Itís how I stopped drinking, started eating, became clinically severely obese, stopped eating (everything that wasnít nailed down) and swam my way to freedom. No, itís not. Itís actually about addiction and learning and sadness and anxiety and love and drive. Itís about channelling the unchangeable into the miraculous. Itís about dragons and learning how to put them to sleep when you canít slay them. Itís about being my own Daenarys."
Hykie Berg is a well-known film and TV actor, popular across South Africa. He is also an addict. At the height of his career, Hykie lost all and nearly died. In this book he candidly shares his life story, from the drug dens of Hillbrow to a maximum security cell in Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, where God saved him from certain death. Hykie invites you to remember that God’s love is also meant for you and that God never gives up on us, no matter what we do.
An account of the illicit drug trade and sex industry which shows how post-apartheid South Africa has been drawn closely into the global market for drugs, while continuing to exhibit its own peculiarities. Included is a discussion of official policy towards vice and suggestions for effective control measures.
"They'd degraded me to the point where I'd become this sex thing - this thing that wasn't human, but just an object. To the point where I believed that's what I was." Kate's ordeal began when she was living in sheltered accommodation, and she was violently introduced to an Asian sex ring. Traumatised and alone, she was too weak to try to escape or even tell anyone. Four years later, she had been passed between over 70 men in the West Midlands, was on drugs, and suffered with PTSD so severe she was on the edge of suicide. So when Operation Chalice came to recruit her, would she be strong enough to turn the tables and bring her abusers down?
This series will trace the history, describe the invention or discovery, generally for honorable reasons, and the transition to illegal and 'recreational' use.
'Lucy Inglis has done a wonderful job bringing together a wide range of sources to tell the history of the most exciting and dangerous plants in the world. Telling the story of opium tells us much about our faults and foibles as humans - our willingness to experiment; our ability to become addicts; our pursuit of money. This book tells us more than about opium; it tells us about ourselves.' - Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads `The only thing that is good is poppies. They are gold.' Poppy tears, opium, heroin, fentanyl: humankind has been in thrall to the `Milk of Paradise' for millennia. The latex of papaver somniferum is a bringer of sleep, of pleasurable lethargy, of relief from pain - and hugely addictive. A commodity without rival, it is renewable, easy to extract, transport and refine, and subject to an insatiable global demand. No other substance in the world is as simple to produce or as profitable. It is the basis of a gargantuan industry built upon a shady underworld, but ultimately it is a farm-gate material that lives many lives before it reaches the branded blister packet, the intravenous drip or the scorched and filthy spoon. Many of us will end our lives dependent on it. In Milk of Paradise, acclaimed cultural historian Lucy Inglis takes readers on an epic journey from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America and Afghanistan, from Sanskrit to pop, from poppy tears to smack, from morphine to today's synthetic opiates. It is a tale of addiction, trade, crime, sex, war, literature, medicine and, above all, money. And, as this ambitious, wide-ranging and compelling account vividly shows, the history of opium is our history and it speaks to us of who we are.
'A shocking investigation ... [Dopesick] is essential' The Times. 'Dopesick is a deep - and deeply needed - look into the troubled soul of America' Tom Hanks. 'Dopesick goes to the heart of one of the most urgent problems of our time' The Tablet. 'Everyone should read Beth Macy's story of the American opioid epidemic ... A great book' Sir Angus Deaton. Beth Macy reveals the disturbing truth behind America's opioid crisis and explains how a nation has become enslaved to prescription drugs. This powerful and moving story explains how a large corporation, Purdue, encouraged small town doctors to prescribe OxyContin to a country already awash in painkillers. The drug's dangerously addictive nature was hidden, whilst many used it as an escape, to numb the pain of of joblessness and the need to pay the bills. Macy tries to answer a grieving mother's question - why her only son died - and comes away with a harrowing tale of greed and need.
What makes one of the most gifted, charismatic and successful young literary agents in New York fall into full-blown crack-addiction: a collapse that would cost him his business, his home, many of his friends and - very nearly - his life? In his utterly compulsive narrative, Bill Clegg leads us through the grimiest back-rooms of Manhattan's underbelly, through scenes of blank-eyed sex and squalor, into the febrile paranoia of a mind gone out of control. Ninety Days begins where Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man ends - and tells the wrenching story of Bill Clegg's battle to reclaim his life. The goal is ninety: just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction. But as any recovering addict knows, hitting rock bottom is just the beginning. . . Published for the first time in one volume: Bill Clegg's unflinching account of the addiction that nearly ended everything.
'This is the story of how I came to drill a hole in my head to get permanently high...' Joey Mellen's memoir has achieved a legendary status that reaches far beyond the 500 long-vanished copies he printed in 1970. It has been hailed as the blueprint for the next step in human evolution, denounced as a tragic example of the dangers of drug experimentation, and retold endlessly as an irresistible anecdote of high craziness. A heavily expanded edition of Joe Mellen's legendary, long out-of-print auto-trepanation memoir.
This series will trace the history, describe the invention or discovery, generally for honorable reasons, and the transition to illegal and 'recreational' use.
This book is written by a New York City clinican who has worked with hundreds of crack cocaine patients individually and in group contexts. Drawing on her firsthand experience, Dr Barbara Wallace presents a practical treatment approach that was developed for crack patients but is generally applicable to chemical dependency problems. The first half of the book explains the social, biological and psychological factors in crack addiction and the various barriers to treatment and reviews clinically relevant theoretical issues. The second half of the book presents specific clinical techniques for assessment and treatment. After describing the treatments that work and those that hold promise, Dr. Wallace details techniques for the assessment phase, including elements of an effective clinical interview and strategies for engaging the ambivalent crack addict in treatment. The author also recommends techniques to help crack patients avoid relapse, examines the process of relapse in crack patients and explains the need for a multifaceted strategy to address the multideterminants of relapse.
An illustrated history of the development of illicit drugs, which focuses on the use of heroin. It traces the history of the drug and explains the chemistry behind its effects.
In this book, Kevin Sabet argues that the United States should not legalise pot with all of its attendant social costs, nor damage the future prospects of pot smokers by prosecuting and jailing them. Rather, he contends that we should shift our emphasis to education about the newly revealed health dangers of pot use. We should also invest seriously in interventions and treatments targeted to those users who find they are unable to quit on their own. We do not need to penalise people for smoking small amounts of marijuana, saddling them, for example, with criminal records that hinder employment or access to social assistance. And for the truly sick who do not respond to traditional medications, the beneficial components of marijuana should be made safely available through doctors and pharmacies. Before we go ahead and legalise marijuana, we ought to try these kinds of evidence-based reforms first. In the Obama Administration, Sabet and his colleagues at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) determined that a policy of marijuana legalisation would pose too many risks to public health and public safety. They asked themselves, Do the benefits of legalisation outweigh the potential risks? This book contains the information they used to get their answer.
ďThis is not a work of fiction. This is the raw reality of life, and a larger part of society. Nothing more, nothing less. Some statistics reveal that approximately 8000 children are abused in some way everyday, of which 5 will die globally. This equates to almost 3 million abuse cases a year and almost 2000 deaths a year. Whether or not the figures are lower or higher Iím obviously not sure but apparently child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now classed as a worldwide epidemic. Having said that, I honestly believe that my testimony can be of some help to someone out there. This book is based on the foundation of how being sexually, mentally and physically abused has affected my life and how the desire for escaping the anguish and the reality of the situation, through drinking alcohol, has nearly killed me...numerous times to say the least. This will take you on a journey through my childhood years, my teenage nightmare, to the beginning of my adult life.Ē This is not just the unburdening of Nickyís story. It is the start of something new; a sign of hope; a show of strength. Nicky refuses to take the hand that she has been dealt and become another statistic. She has hope for herself and her future and a strong focus on the new organisation she is developing.
Beth Macy takes us into the heart of America's struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs and once-idyllic farm towns, this powerful and moving story illustrates how a national crisis became so firmly entrenched.
At the heart of the narrative is a large corporation, Purdue – whose owners are celebrated for their sponsorship of art galleries and museums – that targeted areas of the country already awash in painkillers and encouraged small town doctors to prescribe OxyContin, a highly addictive drug. Evidence of its capacity to enslave its users was suppressed. Macy tries to answer a grieving mother's question – why her only son died – and comes away with a harrowing story of greed and need.
Overtreatment with painkillers became the norm. In distressed communities of ex-miners and factory workers, the unemployed used painkillers both to numb the pain of joblessness and pay their bills. Macy's portraits of the families, cops and doctors struggling to ameliorate this epidemic are unforgettable. But in a country unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Macy still finds reason to hope that there may be a decent future for people so abandoned by their political leaders. This is an essential book for anyone trying to understand the harrowing realities of Trump's America.
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER 'The most brilliant and fascinating book I have read in my entire life' Dan Snow 'A huge contribution... remarkable' Antony Beevor, BBC RADIO 4 'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops' resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.
An illustrated history of the development of illicit drugs, which focuses on the use of the recreational drug, ecstasy. It traces the history of the drug and explains the chemistry behind its effects.
"At the age of 15 I already had a criminal record, busted by the drug squad for possession of an illegal substance.† You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, wouldn't you, but I'm still learning, even though I'm clean of street drugs now - well, just for today - and have a lot of clean time behind me.† The hardest lesson of all for an addict is that the nightmare is never over and the powerful seduction of just one more high never ever goes away."
Steve Hamilton's story is not a comfortable one.† He tells of his life growing up with drugs and his battles with heroin. The book is at times harrowing reading but his story is touching and heartfelt throughout.
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