On a daily basis we witness the many dangers posed by addicts. The alcohol and drug addict is especially dangerous as their personality is usually altered by prolong addiction. We are all familiar with the criminal aspect of the addict as many resort to crime to feed their addiction. This includes theft, hijacking and often murder. Women also resort to prostitution to cover their addiction.

According to research, addiction has exacerbated the burden of disease which in the short term includes vehicle accidents and limits other patient access to emergency medical treatment. Medium term problems include Tuberculosis, HIV & Aids and Liver Disease. Long term complications include children born with physiological and psychological challenges. This precludes the mental issues like paranoia and the phases of psychosis. Problems associated with addiction are infinite.

The addict’s downward journey is connected to the chaos that they sow, yet the only reality to an addict is the craving to feed the emptiness that consumes him. In this selfish world where their desire is paramount, why does society not mitigate this harm with decisive action? Unfortunatly, as long as there is a demand there will be a supply.

In the Bible, Psalm 97:10, God says “Let those who love the Lord hate evil”. In Psalm 94:16 God challenges the believers with the words, “who will rise up for me against the wicked, who will take a stand for me against evildoers”?

What we need in society is “Restorative Justice” this is a biblically-based approach to solving crime. It seeks to maintain the balance between punishment and individual responsibility on one hand and reparation and healing of both the victim and the offender. The key to success in the restorative justice approach is that the public feels safe, the victim is compensated and the criminal changes.

For the sake of those who have and will continue to suffer at the hands of criminals, is it not time that we re-open the discussion around the death penalty.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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