VIDEO: Drug overdose survivor speaks out

Michiel Jonker, 37, busy educating people all over on drug abuse and different kinds of drugs. Photo: Edward van Schalkwyk

Michiel Jonker, 37, who survived years of emotional pain and drug abuse spoke to the Herald about his battle and how he eventually managed to get himself out of it.

Jonker started taking drugs, which included heroin, crystal meth, Ecstasy and Cat, just to mention a few, in the year 2000. He came from Bethlehem in the Free State, so coming to the big city with all its entertainment venues was an exciting experience for him.

Michiel Jonker, Pastor Edward van Schalkwyk and Sune Schutte.

He explained that he started making the wrong friends, hung out in all kinds of clubs and was introduced to drugs. Jonker was a full on drug addict for nine years, and used drugs on and off for another six years or so.

Jonker said he never stole money for drugs, but had that manipulating way most drug users have to get a friend to give him money, so that he could get his daily fix.

“I’d get the money at about 8am, and by 10am, I wouldn’t have enough left to buy something to eat,” he said.

“I ended up living in a tree. I lost everything – my wife, my kids, everything,” he explained.

After losing everything, Jonker decided on his own to go to Betel Ministries in Pretoria where he spent a year, first going cold turkey without any pain medications, and doing hard physical work from the morning till the evening. On 23 May, 2016, his mother passed away and according to him, the only way out from all the pain was to commit suicide by overdosing on 17 grams of crystal meth.

Michiel Jonker, 37, now a proud drug survivor.

Jonker had to be resuscitated for 45 minutes before he eventually came around. According to him, he realised that he needed God in his life to overcome the addiction. Jonker also said he could not have done it without the help of Turn to Eternal Life Bible Ministries with Pastor Edward van Schalkwyk and his own sister, Sune Schutte, 42, supporting and motivating him.

Sune also went through very hard times during his addicted days, having to pick him up at clubs in the early hours of the morning, and having a constant feeling inside her that something was wrong with him.

Jonker now educates and motivates people about drug abuse and what it does to you. He is also a volunteer at Turn to Eternal Life Bible Ministries, and an avid motivational speaker.

If you want to contact Jonker for help or information, please call 071 434 0631.

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Maritza van Zyl

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