This week Special Assignment celebrates its recent achievement of scooping two awards at the 2016 Diageo Responsible Drinking Awards for “Empty Bottles – Shattered Lives.” Producer Cleopatra Jones, won in the Best Broadcast category and the overall Journalist of the Year Award.

This week’s broadcast is a repeat of the programme that profiled the stories of young, recovering alcoholics who started drinking in their early teens. Twenty year-old Kabelo Mboka from Soshanguve in Pretoria booked himself into an addictions rehabilitation facility for six weeks. When he returns to the same environment in which he used to drink, every day triggers threaten his recovery. Kabelo is one of the few youngsters fortunate enough to get help. Many others remain trapped in a binge-drinking cycle which often results in serious consequences, and is, in some cases, fatal.

Teenage alcohol abuse is at alarming rates in South Africa and there is no sign that it will decrease. If no drastic intervention is implemented to curb the problem, young people growing up in South Africa which has an entrenched culture of drinking, will invariably start drinking when they are underage, a fact that various research statistics attest to.

Watch “Empty Bottles – Shattered Lives” produced by Cleopatra Jones, on Special Assignment – broadcast Tonight on SABC 3 at 21h30.