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