Let­ters to the edi­tor It’s up to all of us to help fight drug addiction

Pretoria News - - OPINION -

THE ex­ces­sive use of nyaope, a drug com­monly known to be highly ad­dic­tive in South Africa, con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem among the youth.

This is a low-grade cock­tail that com­prises of heroin and other in­gre­di­ents mixed with dagga.

A study by the Eden Re­cov­ery Cen­tre re­vealed that cannabis (dagga) is the dom­i­nant sub­stance of abuse in Gaut­eng.

As such, more needs to be done to strengthen pre­ven­tion and aware­ness cam­paigns to ed­u­cate com­mu­ni­ties about the ef­fects of sub­stance abuse.

The pre­ven­tion and treat­ment of sub­stance abuse is com­plex and re­quires an in­te­grated ap­proach.

The Gaut­eng Depart­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment is the lead depart­ment with the re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­min­is­ter the Pre­ven­tion of and Treat­ment for Sub­stance Abuse Act, 2008.

This act makes pro­vi­sion for de­vel­op­ment of pro­grammes, and the es­tab­lish­ment, reg­is­tra­tion and man­age­ment of treat­ment cen­tres.

As such, the depart­ment pri­ori­tises the im­ple­men­ta­tion of these in­ter­ven­tions to re­duce the harm caused by the use of drugs in the prov­ince.

These in­ter­ven­tions in­clude the es­tab­lish­ment of in­pa­tient, out­pa­tient and com­mu­nity based treat­ment ser­vices.

We there­fore need to ap­plaud the joint ef­forts by the Gaut­eng Depart­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment and Ekurhu­leni Metropoli­tan Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to con­vert the old Palm Ridge Municipal Health Care clinic into a sub­stance abuse com­mu­nity day clinic to in­crease ac­ces­si­bil­ity of treat­ment in­ter­ven­tions. This part­ner­ship saw an­other sub­stance abuse com­mu­nity-based day clinic launched at Alra Park, Ekurhu­leni.

Dur­ing the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year, the Gaut­eng Depart­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment reached more than 5 700 ser­vice users through 19 funded out-pa­tient treat­ment cen­tres.

More than 3 800 ben­e­fi­cia­ries re­ceived treat­ment through 11 in-pa­tient sub­stance abuse treat­ment cen­tres.

In the same pe­riod 20 com­mu­nity-based ser­vices reached 10 924 ben­e­fi­cia­ries and the pre­ven­tion pro­grammes, in­clud­ing the Ke Moja pre­ven­tion pro­gramme, reached more than 1 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

In­deed the fight against nyaope re­mains a chal­lenge in so­ci­ety as more young peo­ple re­main hooked, but it is the role of ev­ery­one to en­sure that com­mu­ni­ties are in­formed of the dan­gers of drugs and that gov­ern­ment treat­ment cen­tres are there to of­fer re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and af­ter care pro­grammes to re­cov­er­ing users so that they do not re­lapse.

Phetoho Maja Gaut­eng Depart­ment of So­cial

De­vel­op­ment

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