Using Free and Open Source Software to fight drug abuse

Using Free and Open Source Software to fight drug abuse

An article appeared in the UWC campus newsletter…

“An increase in gang and drug activity on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape Province has been causing tension within communities. These activities have a negative impact on citizens in these communities and contribute to a sense of helplessness. Reconstruction or rehabilitation of ex-drug addicts and ex-gangsters are challenging due to communities with tension not being able to empower these citizens or the addicts themselves being unwilling to be rehabilitated. This presented the opportunity for the use of technology as part of the helping substance abusers to rebuild their lives.

A project called DAS@Mxit was the brain child of Marlon Parker, an IT lecturer from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The project uses mobile and web technologies, including the popular cell phone chat application Mxit. In collaboration between CPUT and UWC’s Free Software Innovation Unit in ICS, a system was developed to offer counselling, advice, frequently asked questions for people impacted by drug and substance abuse. DAS@Mxit is aimed at (but not limited to) MXit users. This allows a user to send and receive text and multimedia messages to and from PCs and phones via the Internet, rather than with standard SMS technology.”

Paul and Wesley, key architects and developers on the DAS project (


One Reply to “Using Free and Open Source Software to fight drug abuse”

  1. It is good to hear that technology does not only ease us from everything we do but as well as ease the problems we are facing. Using technology as a tool to help people rebuild their ruined life because of drug abuses is such a fascinating news to hear. Every little or big thing that would lessen the drug users would surely help our society progress and become more livable place.

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